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For a long time past grammarians, classical or 
otherwise, have engaged in conjectural, anatomical 
dissections of the Homeric poems and other na- 
tional epics ; and they will no doubt continue so 
to do. Their researches are guided by a general 
abstract principle, and by a conception of this 
principle as a concrete fact. The first is absolutely 
true ; for the second no proof can be adduced. 
The true and incontrovertible principle is that 
which, since the end of last century, has made 
a distinction between such poems as the jEneid, 
the Gerusalemme Liherata and others (products of 
a learned mind when the schools and theory were 
flourishing), and such poems as belong to a period 
of spontaneous epic production, during which 
popular singers have elaborated numerous epic 
songs of greater or of less extent. These last 
poems are known as popular or national, not 
only on account of their subject, their sentiment, 
their use, but also and principally because the 
poetry which gave rise to them is natural, spon- 
taneous, collective, impersonal, popular : hence 
national in its origins and its developments. 
The poems to which the above principle is ap- 
plied are regarded as probably not the work each 


of one poet. They are thought to be composed of 
minor poems, which, already in existence, were 
put together either all at once by one man or 
successively by several until the final collector 
api)eared. And this putting together is imagined 
to be a simple stitching without any welding of 
the parts ; so that the critical philologist can, by 
means of his special acumen, and of instruments 
and standards all his own, easily succeed in putting 
his finger on the joints and separating out the 
songs of which the poem was composed. 

Such were the premises from which the critics 
started on the dissection of these poems. From 
Lachmann onwards they have continued to dissect ; 
nor does it appear that they have any immediate 
intention of ceasing from a labour that has never 
given any positive, satisfactory, consistent results : 
it is true this may be the reason of their per- 
sistence. We are already tired of the restless 
analysis which, impatient of its own sterility, has 
for so long occupied itself in making, unmaking, 
remaking ; unconvinced that its want of solid 
foundations, its insufficient and ill-applied criteria, 
render it perpetually futile. Its student is often 
struck with wonder at the degree of intellectual 
short-sightedness to which the exaggerated, ex- 
clusive habit of the analytical method leads : at 
the kind of man-microscope it produces, capable 
of seeing atoms, molecules, cells, but not organic 
bodies and totalities, capable of observing the 
mote and seeing it highly magnified, but blind to 
the beam and its importance. 


Thus, in spite of much labour continued with a 
pertinacity worthy of a better cause, the so-called 
Homeric question has not only remained alive, but 
has widened, becoming a question concerning the 
origins of other great national epics. There is no 
discussion of the general principle, which is in fact 
incontrovertible. That during the period of epic 
production the epic materials of the large composi- 
tions were first worked up by the popular singers 
into smaller songs, is proved by facts, and no one 
can deny it. But what is still under discussion is 
the relationship in which the large poems stand to 
the songs which preceded them or from which they 
were born. Was this relationship merely mechani- 
cal, that of a material synthesis of the songs closing 
the period of poetic production ? Or was it an 
organic relationship, that of a new and higher phase 
of the poetry, developing organically from the pre- 
ceding, reaching higher, broader and more complex 
ideals, and a new style adapted to them ? The study 
of written tradition has thrown no light on this 
question. True, it has shown the existence among 
the Koman and Germanic poems of the Middle Ages 
of considerable varieties of redactions which reflect 
the vicissitudes of the poems in their popular use, 
and hence justify the search, among these varieties, 
for the original form of the poem ; but the manu- 
scripts of poems of popular use, though of indubi- 
tably personal origin, present the same facts as do 
those of the Chanson de Roland and the Niebelungen. 
Written tradition enables us to study that period 
of epic production which may be called the period 

viii PREFACE. 

of large poems; it shows us their progeny or 
branches, it shows us the rhapsodic combination 
of the epic masses into different poems and the co- 
ordination of several poems into a cycle, as among 
the Greeks. But it always has to do with large 
poems. Of the relationship in which these stand 
to the smaller epic songs that must have preceded 
them, the manuscripts teach us nothing. Epic 
or epic-lyric lays are, it is true, given us by 
widtten tradition : such are the romances of the 
Cid in Spain, such are the songs of Sigurd, of 
Helgi in the Edda ; but they are all of such a kind 
as to render it impossible to form a large poem 
by combining them. Nor can it be said, speaking 
generally, that a song existing independently ever 
figures in a large poem. 

The idea of a mechanical pasting together is 
not only unconfirmed by any of the facts pre- 
sented by the poetry which has come down to 
us through written tradition ; it finds no support 
in poetry living in oral tradition, although this 
has now been collected and studied among so 
many peoples that it may be said to be well known. 
The Russians, Servians, Croatians, Bulgarians, Si- 
berian Tatars and many other peoples possess epic 
songs, but they have no large poem or poems ; nor 
would it be possible to form any from their epic 
songs as now existing. Attempts made in this 
direction, like that of Atenarius for the Russian 
hyliny and of De Rada for the songs of Albania, 
have proved unsuccessful. There exists, however, 
one exception: that which forms the subject of our 


present work. The Finns have a poetry, thoroughly 
popular, oral, traditional, in which epic songs are 
found ; and a poem has been obtained by combining 
these songs without any inventions or additions 
on the part of the composer. This poem would,, 
therefore, appear to have been already matured 
in the traditional 23oetry of the people. The Finnic 
Kalevala is the only example we have of a national 
poem actually resulting from minor songs ; these- 
songs being not discoverable in it according to 
some preconceived idea by means of inductive 
analysis, but known as really existing indepen- 
dently of the large composition. Still further :. 
this traditional poetry, dating from the time when 
the Finns were pagans, gave rise to daemonic and 
heroic myth, as it did among the Greeks, Scandi- 
navians and other nations in a similar condition. 
All this constitutes so singular and important a 
fact for the student of the natural history of poetry 
and epic production that it is well worth a close- 
and radical examination. 

Such the motive that has induced us to under- 
take the present work ; in which, to keep clear of 
any misunderstanding of the facts just mentioned, 
we intend to go to the heart of this poetry of the- 
Finns, studying its origins, causes, nature and life. 
It is a study for which we have now sufficient 
though but recently acquired data. We under- 
take it independently of others, after a manner 
which is our own, and which leads to views also 
our own, and new both in general and particular. 
The labour is arduous, and may appear even rask 


when one considers the remoteness and uncom- 
monness of a subject known and familiar to few 
outside Finland. But we have not approached it 
with levity, nor without sufficient preparation in 
the studies and varied information required by the 
subject. We have also made four visits to that 
excellent hyperborean people ' AttoWcovos BepdirovTa, 
and have there learnt from courteous scholars 
much that is useful for the study in hand. We 
must thank the memory of Augustus Ahlqvist, of 
Julius Krohn, whom a premature death has taken 
from us ; thank also K. Krohn, O. Donner, A. 
Borenius, A. Genetz, E. Setala, E. Hertzberg, Ad. 
Neovius and many others. 

We shall divide our work into two parts. In 
the first, explanatory, we shall give information 
and definitions regarding this traditional poetry, 
shall resume the contents of the Kalevala, shall 
describe the method of its composition, adding, by 
way of example, a translation of one of the principal 
songs used in putting it together. In the second 
part, theoretical, we shall explain the origins, the 
development and the life of this poetry, first in its 
mythic creations, both daemonic and heroic, then 
in itself or in what is known as the rune. When 
all this has been explained, defined, illustrated, it 
will be easy to resume and to formulate in a final 
chapter the conclusions to be drawn from this 
poetry with regard to the origin of national epics. 


'The question of the origin and growth of national 
epics may seem to have no practical importance. 
There are the poems, it may be said, to read or 
leave unread, and the problem of their authorship 
is indifferent. As a question of literary enjoyment 
the problem may be otiose, but as a question of 
critical science it is highly important, for, if we are 
to have critical science at all, nothing can be so 
■essential as that this science should be scientific. 
We do not need mere " ingenious " hypotheses, 
formed in ignorance of the truths of history and of 
human nature ; we need facts and the comparative 
:study of these facts ; we need soundness of method. 
In this book, which, in addition to its intrinsic 
interest, is the prelude to a work on the Homeric 
poems. Professor Comparetti has recognised and 
met the true critical demand. He applies to the 
problem of the growth of national epics that 
•comparative method which has revolutionised 
the sciences of Institutions, Laws, Eeligion and 
Mythology. We now examine the development 
of society and of civilisation by comparative obser- 
vation of tribes in the earliest actual stage ; thus 
the -scrutiny of tribal society leads us on from the 
lowest known peoples to the feudal ages, and so to 


the organisation of our modern times. Everywhere 
we find gradual adaptation, modification, evolution, 
survival and perhaps reaction. The same method 
of comparison of all known facts has solved the 
riddle of mythology, and is dealing with that of 
religion. Comparetti here applies it to literature : 
to the development of the national epic. 

This has been done before, it may be said : the 
national poems of many civilised peoples have been 
placed in juxtaposition with those of Homer (as. 
when Lachmann dissected the Nibelungenlied) 
and conclusions have been drawn. This is true,. 
but then comparisons have been scanty, incomplete,. 
and made, as a rule, under the control of a dominant 
idea — the idea that many small popular songs have 
been stitched into the epic, or the idea that an old 
poem of perhaps 3000 lines has been swollen, by 
later accretions of various ages, into the bulk of 
the Iliad or the Odyssey. Critics then lay their 
fingers on the joints, or disintegrate the concrete 
mass into its elements. 

But the many and learned writers, German or 
English, who thus mangle the sacred body of 
Homer, have not, as a rule, made a thorough 
comparative study of national poetry as it exists 
among the many rude races who are either ignorant 
of writing or do not apply writing to the preser- 
vation of song. These critics, as a rule, have not 
gone to the peoples who are still in that stage of 
unprofessional art, out of which, doubtless, the 
Homeric epics were evolved. The critical theory 
of that age and its methods has been a priori,. 


much like Kousseau's theory of the state of Nature. 
A modern student of institutions does not start 
from a fanciful theory of early society ; he minutely 
examines early society where it is still in full 
vigour, and compares its remains in recorded 
ancient laws — Celtic, Indian, Teutonic. A modern 
student of mythology goes to races still in the 
mythopoeic condition and analyses their myths and 
their psychical and psychological condition, which 
he then compares with the recorded myths of the 
old civilised periods. The same method is pursued 
in the science of religion. The scope of our 
comparative survey cannot be too wide, and our 
analysis of evidence cannot be too minute. Mean- 
while, in the comparative study of national poetry, 
very few, if any, critics have gone first to races 
who are still in the popular, almost impersonal 
stage of literary art. The conditions and the 
grades of that art have been much taken for 
granted. Consequently, savants have decided 
that the Homeric poems were evolved in ways of 
which it may be said that no historical and known 
examples exist. The supposed causa is not, or is 
not shown to be, a vera causa. 

The method of Comparetti is the reverse of all 
this. He does not rely on an unproved hypothesis, 
but goes straight to facts. Where, he asks, is 
there a living people still in the popular unpro- 
fessional stage of the literary art which possesses 
not only brief heroic songs {kleine lieder) but also 
a long national epic ? This people he finds in the 
Finns ; this epic in the Kalevala. Would it be 


possible, then, he asks, for a Fick, a Lachmann, a 
Kirchhof or a Leaf to put his finger on the joints 
of the songs stitched together in the Kalevala, or 
to discover the original poem of say 4000 lines, 
and then to discriminate the various accretions of 
several successive ages, as the modern critics do in 
the case of the Homeric poems ? Comparetti proves 
that either of these analytical processes v^ould be 
impossible. Happily, the original songs welded 
into the Kalevala still exist in many variants, and 
these variants have been written down by collectors. 
No critical ingenuity could disengage these com- 
ponent parts of the Kalevala as they exist in actual 
fact. No critical ingenuity could correctly discern 
the additions and modifications by which Lonnrot, 
in this century, made the Kalevala. While ignorant 
of the actual facts of the surviving songs, critical 
ingenuity could only give us, at many hands and 
from many sides, its usual widely discrepant re- 
sults. We must, therefore, distrust critical analysis 
where it rests (in Homeric and often in Biblical 
criticism) on the critic's own idea of what, in accor- 
dance with his theory, ought to be the case. In 
Homeric and in Biblical criticism savants are apt to 
reject, as '* interpolations," whatever does not suit 
their theory. Applied to the Kalevala, where the 
method can be tested by facts, this method would 
necessarily reveal its naked absurdity. We cannot 
trust it where the test of facts, of documents, can- 
not be applied, as it cannot usually be applied in 
the criticism of the Bible or of Homer. There 
occur in these texts, indeed, passages which, for 


archaeological, historical, or (more dubiously) for 
philological reasons, may be marked as interpola- 
tions. But to mark a passage as relatively late, 
because it collides with this or the other theory, is 
manifestly unscientific. 

So far Comparetti's study of the Kalevala, com- 
pared with its undeniable sources preserved in 
MS., teaches critical science a lesson of caution. 
But he goes farther. Here is a people with brief 
popular songs, and with an epic made out of these 
songs. But could the process of making popular 
songs into an epic (as in this case they have been 
made), could it conceivably have been applied 
2500 years ago to the popular poems of Greece, 
so as to weld or fashion them into the Iliad and 
Odyssey? Undoubtedly, as Comparetti shows, no 
such process is even conceivable in ancient Greece. 
'* When after having studied the songs in their 
essence, we pass on to consider who Lonnrot is, 
and to study his poem at close quarters, we not 
only see that all this is a hallucination, but we 
come to see the vanity of the theory that would 
explain in this way the origin of the great national 
epic cycles " {infra, p. 338). 

If we believe that the Homeric epics were made, 
say in the seventh century B.C., by mechanically 
stitching together Meine lieder, or (as the Kale- 
vala was made) by Lonnrot's method of selection, 
combination, adaptation and addition, we are 
forgetting that Lonnrot was a modern savant, 
with the Wolfian theory consciously present to 
his mind, and with a learned public to applaud 



his exertions. Where was such a man of literary 
science to be found, where was his motive for 
exertion ''in an age when even the thinkers were 
poets — the Orphics and Pythagoreans of the 
[alleged] commission of Peisistratos " ? The idea 
that any man, or any committee, could perform 
such a task as that of Lonnrot in early Greece is a 
frank anachronism. *' In his mind there is far more 
than there is in the mind of a popular singer," or of 
a committee, in an age when popular song was still 
potent, and scientific literary theory was not yet born. 
If we believe in the theory that the Homeric 
•epics were stitched together out of small songs, we 
are met by this difficulty : that the processes of 
such a man as Lonnrot are no argument for early 
Greece ; that such a method as his, in the age of 
Onomacritus, is a fantastic anachronism. If we 
believe in an original Iliad or Odyssey, of say 4000 
lines, to which, in three or four centuries later, 
^reat poets made additions, subordinating their 
work duly to that of their great dead master, we 
must ask ourselves, where and when are great 
poets known and proved to have been so humble ? 
The process is not a vera causa: no known and 
verifiable example can be produced. Moreover, 
had generations of poets thus subordinated their 
genius to amplify and adorn the work of another, 
a Greek Lonnrot was still needed to select, reject 
and unify, so as to produce the Homeric poems 
as we know them. Where and when, in Greece, 
can he liave existed, what was his motive, to 
whom did he appeal? 


This leads to another argument. Here is the 
Kalevala, the epic, probably the best that could 
have been made by Lonnrot's method out of Lonn- 
rot's materials. Here it is, but where in the chaotic 
narrative, stretching from the making of the world 
to Christianity, is the epic unity, where is the clear 
plain tale of the Wrath of Achilles and its fatal 
assuaging, or of the Eeturn of Odysseus ? Not even 
a scientific erudite could produce anything distantly 
approaching the unity of Iliad or Odyssey out of 
the small Finnish songs. Thus, as Compare tti says, 
we ''are disinclined to think that he (the Greek 
poet) could ever bring himself to the composition 
of songs which should be simply added to a greater 
song already produced by others ; and that he 
should have done this so rigidly, and with such 
respect for the work of the other, that the modern 
scholar can find out the joints with ease, can dis- 
tinguish the nucleus, and each of the posterior 
additions. . . . The difficulty increases when the 
poems are clearly seen, in each of their parts, to be 
composed according to a determined plan, evident 
in the definite poem, but not in the supposed 
nucleus" (p. 357). But granting this unproved 
and unprecedented self-sacrifice of great poets, 
still there existed "the mass of poetry, which in 
process of time and in various countries must 
necessarily have been very considerable and very 
diverse". Who made Iliad and Odyssey out of 
this vast and diverse mass ? When, or where, is 
his action even conceivable in early Greece ? 

These, and many other arguments, I have 


ventured to urge in Homer and the Epic. But, 
as the man in Goldsmith says, ''the learned took 
no notice of my paradoxes, no notice at all ". They 
were not made in Germany. The learned will be 
obliged to reckon with Comparetti. It is not in 
vain that he has four times visited the blameless 
Hyperboreans, and minutely studied the popular 
and scientific Hterature of a difficult language. 

These exertions are proofs of a truly scientific 
character, shrinking from no toil. Of his acute- 
ness, his just estimate of evidence, our author had 
already given proof in his little tract on The 
Myth of CEdipouSy which pricked the bubble of 
philological mythology as at that time prevalent. 
It cannot be but that his works on national poetry 
will recall criticism to sounder methods, and a sys- 
tem more sincerely and thoroughly '' comparative ". 

I would not be understood to mean that the 
single case of the Kalexala and its sources, or any 
other single case, is a precise and just parallel to 
that of the Homeric poems. The Finns, for ex- 
ample, seem to have as many points of difference 
from as of agreement with other known peoples in 
their literary development. The absolutely un- 
historical character of their songs is unusual. Their 
lack of chiefs, kings, ranks, reminds us of the Eski- 
mo rather than of, let us say, the Maoris. Their 
cosmogonic lays resemble rather the legends of the 
Red Indians than the hymns of the beginning, so 
surprisingly metaphysical among the Maoris and 
the Finns. The strong historical traditions of the 
Maoris, with their memories of great human heroes 


of old times, are apparently unknown to the Finns. 
Again, the prevalence of the magical song in Fin- 
land reminds us of the popular poetry both of Red 
Indians and Australian blacks ; but, among these 
races, each individual seems rather to make his 
own rmie for each occasion than to repeat, as the 
Finns do, a consecrated formula/ 

The importance of the magical song, insisted on 
by Comparetti, has been much neglected. It is 
probable that such songs as were sung over the 
wound of Odysseus, had the same influence in 
Greece as in Finland had the ditty chanted over the 
wound of Vainamoinen. Magic was less prevalent 
in Greece ; among the Red Indians " shamanism " 
exists as in Finland, but lyrics of personal emotion, 
love and regret, are already more conspicuous than 
magic runes even in America. 

Such suggestions might be produced at much 
length. They are hinted at here for the purpose 
of showing that great diff'erences, as well as close 
analogies, exist in the truly popular poetry of 
various races still in the unprofessional stage of 
the literary art. Differentiation must increase as 
a class of professional singers is evolved, and as 
rank in society is developed. Thus, if ever there 
was a Greek Lonnrot, who composed the Ilia4 and 
Odyssey (against which we have argued), his ma- 
terials must have been wholly unlike the purely 

^ Examples will be found in Schoolcraft, in The GJiost Dance of tlie 
Sioux, Bureau of Ethnology, Washington ; in Mrs. Langloh Parker's 
collections of Australian traditions ; in Taylor and Shortland for New 
Zealand, and so on. 


unhistorical lays found by Lonnrot among the Finns. 
Like Lonnrot, indeed, he would know songs magical, 
(lir-cvs, cosmogonic songs, wedding songs, songs of 
lal>()ur, but, unlike Lonnrot, he introduced not one 
of these into the epic. None, indeed, would be 
found existing in the hexameter, whereas all Finnish 
songs are in the one measure. The imaginary 
Greek Lonnrot would have present to him nothing 
in the least like the extant materials of the Finnish 
scholar. The poetry, which he knew would be 
by professional minstrels, would not be actually 
popular. That poetry, with the accessible prose 
legends, would be full of matter more or less histo- 
rical, " the renowns of men" not of mythical demi- 
urgic wizards. All would be concerned, or most 
would be concerned, with actual places, not with a 
misty Pohjola. The ancestors of existing kingly 
houses would be celebrated ; conquests of actual 
territories and kingly alliances would be recorded. 
All would breathe of a society far more differentiated 
by blood, birth, commerce and slavery, than was the 
society of the Finns. 

We know that this must have been so, and that 
Greek poetry and legend were already inspired, not 
merely by tribal and local, but by national senti- 
ment, by a consciousness of distinction from '' alien 
men," Sidonians, Egyptians and Ethiopians. Thus, 
whoever made the Greek epics used materials 
wholly unlike the Finnish popular songs. But 
how did he use them, and what was his motive ? 
Why did he construct long elaborate epics? In 
answer to the former question we have rejected, as 


inconceivable, the theories that he either stitched to- 
gether little lays, or laboriously edited a " nucleus " 
with a vast diversified mass of concretions. In my 
opinion the maker of the Iliad did just what was 
done by the maker of The Lay of the Last Minstrel. 
Out of his knowledge of facts or fancies, as existing 
in lays and traditions, he fashioned a long poem 
with beginning, middle and end, with '' organic 
unity, harmony, proportion of parts co-ordinated 
among themselves, and converging towards a final 
catastrophe " (p. 357). " To be just we should call 
him not simply a redactor, but rather author, poet " 
(p. 358)._ 

If this be so, his motive was the entertainment 
of a permanent audience, an audience which could 
listen to him for several consecutive nights. No 
wandering minstrel could expect such a circle of 
hearers, and we are led to think of a Court poet, 
like the minstrel of Alcinous. 

The difficulties of this theory are not incon- 
siderable, but the theory at least makes the ex- 
istence of the epics possible, while the current 
critical hypotheses do not. We can get no light 
on the supposed Lonnrot of Greece, the learned 
redactor. He cannot be thought of as existing 
at the time when, if at all, he must have existed. 

It is to be supposed that Comparetti will, in a 
later work, deal with the problems (such as that of 
writing, of preservation, and of later editing) which 
beset his theory that the epics come from the mind 
of one who was "their author, their poet". If 
he can construct as well as criticise, the Wolfian 


theory, in all its phases, will fall into its place as 
one more bankruptcy of " Liberalism ". We shall 
learn, not to despair of critical science, but to con- 
struct that science with more caution and care, 
with a wider purview, with more distrust of '' in- 
genuity" and of hypotheses which vary with the 
taste of the scholar. Even at present Mr. Leaf, 
while discriminating four or five secular strata in 
the Iliad, finds the Odyssey "a model of skilful 
construction . . . not a single episode which does 
not bear upon a catastrophe foreseen and aimed at 
without wavering ". Tres Men, but a multitude of 
learned Germans dissect the Odyssey just as Mr. 
Leaf dissects the Iliad, and regard it as the patch- 
work of a botcher. The question thus becomes 
purely a question of individual taste. Similar 
methods, as I have elsewhere shown, reduce Mar- 
mion and Ivanhoe to a similar patch-work. The 
strange psychological condition of critics, who thus 
fly in the face of Aristotle, is diagnosed correctly 
by Comparetti (pp. v., vi.). 

Now, though the problem of the origin of the 
epics may not be of practical importance, it is of 
importance that all studies should be pursued with 
sanity of method. Of sane method Comparetti's 
book offers a valuable example. He does not set 
out, like a learned German whom he mentions, to 
discuss the origin of the Kalemla without knowing 
the facts in the case. The facts in the case of 
Homer can never l)e known with this precision, 
but, at least, we do know the facts of human 
nature. These contradict the modern hypothesis 


ill all its forms and phases. There is no known 
instance of a great work of literary art which has 
not proceeded from a single mind. 

Comparetti has not dwelt much on the literary 
charm of the Kalevala. In brief, it is that of "■ the 
magical handling of Nature," the charm which (by 
another of our hasty modern hypotheses) has been 
regarded as almost exclusively Celtic. It is not 
Celtic though the Celts possess it ; it is the expres- 
sion of early humanity, above all, among races 
isolated, remote, defeated, abiding in the solitude 
of hills and forests, culling its songs "from the 
plumes of the pine-trees," '' the winds in the woods," 
*' the music of many waters ". That is the charm 
of Vainamoinen's lyre, and it does not wholly vanish 
even in translations. 

Andrew Lang. 



Preface v-x 



Chapter I.— The Traditional Poetry of the Finns - 1-73 
Definitions and denominations ; unity of the rune form ; varieties 
of the rune ; notices on the collections, especially those of 
Lonnrot ; the Kalevala and its history, p. 1 — The Kanteletar 
or lyric songs, p. 15 — The form of the rune (verse, allitera- 
tion, rhyme, parallelism), p. 23 — The rune essentially 
Finnic ; poetry among other Ugro-Pinnic peoples ; the 
Lapps ; the Esthonians and the Kalevipoeg of Kreutzwald, 
p. 36 — Where the rune lives and where it was born ; Tavasts 
and Carelians ; the question of the Carelism of the Kalevala, 
p. 48 — Whether the traditional rune can serve as a historical 
document ; its indifference to history and its instability, p. 
59 — How the traditional runes are sung ; the Kantele, p. 68. 

Chapter II. — Epitome of the "Kalevala" - - -74-115 

Chapter III. — Composition of the "Kalevala" - 116-157 
Song of the Sampo and its parts ; Song of the Creation, p. 115 — 
First expedition of Vainamoinen to Pohjola and the making 
of the Sampo, p. 123 — Rivalry for the Bride, p. 126 — Expedi- 
tion for the Sampo and Rape of the Sampo, p. 131 — Final 
rune, p. 137 — Groups of runes outside the Sampo cycle : I. 
Lemminkiiinen runes, p. 139. II. Kullervo runes, p. 144 — 
List showing the distribution of the songs in Lonnrot's poem, 
p. 149 — Lonnrot's method in the partial composition of each 
song, p. 153. 

Appendix 158-168 

Translation of one of the variants of the Sampo rune from the 
government of Archangel. 




Introduction 1G9-170 

Chapter I.— The Divine Myth 171-214 

Shamanism of the ancient Finns; shamanic or magic poetry, 
mother of myth, p. 171 — Process of personification of the 
things and facts of nature ; value of names ; ending -tar ; 
ending -la,father, son, etc.; Ukko,Akka,Ahti, Vellamo, Tapio, 
Mielikki, Jumala, p. 174— Individualism, want of organisa- 
tion, incompleteness in the development of the myth, p. 181 
— Animism ; the haltia, genius or Saifiwp of everything ; 
daemonic power of the wizard, or the wizard as haltia ; the 
wizard as wise man or tietdja and creator of myth, p. 183 — 
Varied development of myths and reasons for this ; the myth 
of field labour {Pellcrvoinen) ; the myth of the waters {Ahti, 
Vellaino) and of the wood ( Tapio, Mielikki), p. 188 — The myth 
of the region of the dead {Manala or Tuonela) and of Vipunen, 
p. 189— Maleficent genii {Paha, Piru, Perkele, Juntas, Lempo, 
Hiisi), and joyless mythical regions ; Pohjola, the Lady of 
Pohjola; the maleficent Lapp wizards, p. 196— Mythical 
abodes of joy, Pdivold, Saari and its beauteous maiden ; 
Kaleva, the son of Kaleva or Kullervo and Kalevala, p. 204. 

Chapter II.— The Heroic Myth .... 215-262 

The sky, the world {maailma), the air [ihna) ; the cosmogonic 
myth or the egg of the loorld, p. 215 — Nature {lumito) as 
bringer forth ; the three Daughters of the Air {Ilman ivimet) 
or of nature {Luonnotaret) ; Kave or Kapo. Foreign origin 
of these ideas, p. 219 — Absence of an anthropogenic myth. 
The power of the nature in the wizard and his word ; he is 
the man par excellence. Value and origin of the words mean- 
ing hero, urhos, sankari ; the Finnic hero not a warrior but 
a magician ; absence of warlike sentiment, p. 223 — Feeling 
that the wizard has of himself, of his worth, of his prow- 
ess, expressed in the poetry of the magic songs ; heroic 
ideals in which he poetically embodied this ; Vainamoinen 
and Ilmarinen ; reduction to this type of personages of 
other origin, as Lemminkainen, Kullervo, p. 233 — The 
enemies of the wizard and the heroic types of the hostile 
camp. The wizards of the Lapps or of Pohjola ; the Lady 
of Pohjola ; Joukahainen ; the Rivalry in Song. Ancient 
rivalry in magic between the Finns and the Lapps. The 


heroic myth and the epic song record no historical event. 
Individualism and indeterminateness in the heroic myth, 
want of society and of organisation, as in the divine myth, 
p. 244 — The two chief motives of heroic action : I. Wooing 
of the Bride. II. The Sampo. Meaning of this word; 
whether the idea has a historical or national value, p. 249. 

Chapter III.— The Rune 263-326 

Finnic myth and poetry appear after the contacts with Germanic 
and Lithu-Slav peoples and through their influence, p. 263 
— How the shamanism of the Finns was modified by these 
contacts and approached the pagan idea of the neighbouring 
peoples, p. 265 — Limits of these influences, p. 270 — The 
magic of Finnic shamanism approaches that of neighbouring 
European peoples, the magic drum falls into disuse, the 
magic song is developed principally under Germanic in- 
fluence, p. 274 — The Finnic magic song for dislocations in 
horses and the Mersehurger Gebet, p. 281 — The magic of 
Germanic paganism ; the runa and the galdr ; the secret 
knowledge of the Ch-igins of things and the power it bestows, 
p. 284 — History of the word runa ; the meaning with which 
it reached the Finns from the Scandinavians and when it 
reached them, p. 287 — The poetry of the Finnic runes not 
prior to the times of the Vikings (eighth to eleventh century), 
p. 293 — Originality in spite of foreign influences; the Finnic 
magic song for pleurisy and an Anglo-Saxon gealdor of the 
tenth century ; poetical superiority of the Finnic magic 
song ; passage from it to the epic song, ex the Origin of 
Pleurisy, p. 298— History of the rune, of its various and 
successive applications down to the present time, p. 307 — 
, ' The real concluding phase in the life of the rune repre- 
sented in the songs of the Origin of the Kantele, p. 320. 

"Conclusions 327-359 

On the Kalevala and on the Origins of the Great National Epics. 




However various may be the aim and subject of the 
innumerable songs which, for centuries past, have been 
produced and orally spread among the Finns, their form 
is always the same. The popular muse of Finland has 
never arrived at that degree of maturity which dis- 
tinguishes special forms of poetry by special formal char- 
acteristics, creating for each special laws and moulds. 
The scholar who would order these songs according to 
ancient literary theory, dividing the epic from the magic, 
and these from the epic-lyric, from the lyric, etc., can do 
so only as regards the contents and aim of each poem. 
He can also discern what is more ancient and what is 
less so. But the unity of form prevents his classification 
from being, in either case, very decided. He finds that 
the epic song often serves a magic end, that the magic 
song is of a lyric nature ; but it is narrative as well and 
may be set in the epos without incongruity; while the 
same thing may occur with the epic-lyric and even with 
the lyric. Further, although traditional and ancient, this 
poetry is living and continually renewing itself in the 
living word ; so that the distinction between older and 
more recent songs can be made only within wide limits 
in very general terms, and can in no case be based on 
questions of form, or on the use of words obsolete and 
archaic or new and modern. 




Poetical outpouring and formulation of the feelings 
and thought of the present moment, of past memories, of 
fanciful imaginings, may vary with place and occasion : 
it may be a proverb or an adage put into verse ; it may be 
a song of love, of joy or of mourning ; it may be a w^edding 
song, a song of women at the mill, a magic song, a song 
telling of ancient myths and the story of wondrous feats, 
or a song with some other subject ; but the vein, the quahty 
of the metal, the mould in all these effusions are ever 
one and the same. The singer, the laulaja, repeats and 
creates at the same time. The mass of songs he has in 
his mind are for him property common to others and to 
himself. There Hes his science, there is his text-book, 
his material, and at the same time the instrument with 
which to shape his own work. Verses of a song which 
we should call lyric he weaves into one which we should 
call epic or magic, and vice versa ; and he does so freely,, 
as one who employs according to his need, words, phrases, 
formulas of a language common to all and understood of 
all. This right which the singers feel that they have, and 
which they use abundantly, added to the alterations which 
poems committed to memory and propagated exclusively 
by word of mouth must naturally undergo, is the cause 
of the very large number of variants which every song 
presents. Each one not only differs between singer and 
singer, but even the same singer never repeats it twice in 
exactly the same manner, often going so far as to bind 
together and give as one those songs which but recently 
he recited as separate and distinct. Thus, taking them 
all together, the songs which have up to the present time 
been collected with their numberless variants, appear a 
fluctuating mass of verse, of poetic thought, of poetically 
fantastic creations in a perennial state of transformation, 
of decomposition and of recomposition. This is the true 
natural condition of popular poetry properly so called, 
before it becomes, or begins to become, individual and 


artistic. In truth the traditional poetry of the Finns is 
popular poetry in the full sense of the word, so that its 
study may serve to correct the definition ordinarily given 
to the term popular poetry, nov^ too often used inexactly. 

Finnish poetry, of v^hatever kind, is song, laulu. Be- 
sides this generic word there are other expressions of more 
restricted meaning, but all these are of foreign derivation > 
The most ancient and characteristic is rune, which, strictly 
used, designates poetry or songs of traditional form and 
character. Above all, therefore, it designates the narrative, 
heroic or magic songs, though it is also extended to lyric 
songs of antique form, to wedding songs (Hdimcnot), etc. 
Less ancient is the use of the word virsi, of Latin origin,, 
which has probably reached the Finns, as I think, from 
the Lithu-Slavs. Although it has in many places, and 
even precisely in those where the ancient songs are best 
preserved, supplanted the term r2mo, yet it was certainly 
introduced with the teachings and the sacred books of 
Christianity ; while there is no doubt but that runo dates 
from pagan times. Thus virsi is also applied to hymns 
of the Lutheran Church, for which runo could never be 
used. ^ Altogether modern is the word veisa, which has 
nothing to do with traditional poetry, and is applicable 
only to translations or imitations of the popular ballads 
or songs of Sweden (visor). To sum up, there is one 
word, r2mo, which characterises and distinguishes the 
traditional poetry of the Finns whether as to subject or 
as to form, this last being one and essentially its own. 
There is one only metre for songs of every kind, epic, 
magic, lyric ; one rule of composition for all ; and in all a 
singular homogeneity of tone and style. One is the rune, 
one the ancestral mould, fashioned by the fathers of the 

^ Virsikirja is the book of psalms or sacred songs ; there is a whole 
literature of this kind of composition from the time of Bishop Agricola 
onwards. Krohn wrote a history of these books, Suomen virsikirjan 
historia, Helsingfors, 1880. 


people in ancient days, which gave to this poetry the 
shape in which it has grown up, Hved, survived and pro- 
pagated itself down to the present time. The popular 
singer or laidaja is a runer (runoja), a smith or maker of 
runes (runoseppa) or a master of runes (runoniekka). The 
reader who passes from the Kalevala to the lyric and 
magic songs feels hardly any sense of interruption ; he 
finds the same manner and the same form, and recognises 
besides a great number of lines which he has already 
met in the larger poem. It is, in fact, easy to see that 
identity of metre and homogeneity of manner and style 
not only faciHtate the combination and interweaving of 
runes of every description, but almost suggest it and 
render it natural when they are manipulated by the 
people. Instances of this are given by the minute analyses 
of JuHus Krohn, who, after an examination of the epic 
runes, has recognised and indicated (as we shall show in 
a fitting place) those parts and lines which are to be met 
with also in runes treating of other subjects. Trans- 
position of this kind, in which all popular singers freely 
indulge, has been employed on a larger scale by Lonnrot 
in his Kalevala; for the composition of which he laid 
under contribution every kind of national poetry, from 
the mythic song to the proverb. As a matter of fact 
the runes or songs known to and given by the popular 
singers are in no case of great length ; of a large poem 
they have no idea ; of a Kalevala (a title evolved by Lonn- 
rot himself) they know nothing. 

Whatever we may have to say against Lonnrot's idea 
of composing, or as he thought of x>uUing together again 
the Kalevala, against its epic and organic unity, against 
its nature as a continuous poem, we must nevertheless 
confess that it presents a marked poetic unity : that 
unity, and that alone, which we have defined above as 
common to the entire mass of runes. So that the Kalevala 
is really a synthesis of traditional Finnic poetry, whose 


nature it fully represents. Lonnrot collected from the 
lips of the laulajat the living material, changeable and 
fluctuating, and built it firmly together into a poem which 
is an imperishable monliment of the poetic genius of that 

The first rune collectors, from Porthan ^ down to 
Ldnnrot, only considered and published detached songs, 
and did not even think of classifying them according to 
their nature and their contents. Thus Von Schroter,'^ 
Topelius,^ and Lonnrot himself in the first collection 
which he published under the title of Kantele,^ make no 
distinction between epic, lyric and magic songs. They 
distribute them simply into ancient songs or runot, i.e., 
those that are proved by their contents or other charac- 
teristics to have been handed down by tradition from 
early times ; and modern songs, called generically laulut, 
i.e., such as are clearly recent in nature, characteristics, 
form and contents. The first to conceive the idea of a 
collection of songs combined or ordered according to a 
common subject was Eeinhold von Bekker. In 1820 he 
published at Abo, in his weekly paper {Turun Viikko 
Sanomat), a number of songs or runes relating to Vaina- 
moinen, which he had collected in Eastern Bothnia, and 
to a certain extent put into order. Meanwhile Topelius 
discovered a rich mine of songs in Eussian Carelia ; while 

^ In this connection see Rothsten's introduction to the third edition of 
the Kalevala (1887), and J. Krohn's The first Printed Runes of the 
Kalevala (Ensimviaiset painetut Kalevalan runot) in the Kirj. Kiiu- 
kauslehti, 1870, p. 47 ; K. Krohn, Hist, du traditionnisme en Finlande, 
in the Tradition, iv. (1890). 

2 D. H. R. von Schroter, Finnische Runen, finn. und deutsch. Up- 
sala, 1819. 

^ Suomen Kansan vanhoja runoja ynnd myos nykysenipid lauluja. 
[Ancient Runes and Modern Songs of the Finnish People), Abo and Hel- 
singfors, 1822-31. 

■* Kantele, taikka Suomen Kansan sekd vanhoja ettd nykysempid Runoja 
ja Lauluja [The Cithern, or Runes and Songs, Ancient ami Modern, of the 
Finnish People), Heisingfors, 1829-31. 


Lonnrot, who had been appointed doctor in Cajana, Cas- 
tren, Sjogren, Ahlqvist, Europaeus and others, aided and 
encouraged by the admirable Society of Finnish Litera- 
ture founded in 1831/ collected a great number of songs 
of every kind. Lonnrot's studies and researches, directed 
from his earliest youth to the poetry of the people, grew 
more and more profound as the material for them in- 
creased.- Investigating and comparing the numerous 
songs he had collected, Lonnrot began to look with in- 
creasing favour on Von Bekker's idea of uniting or com- 
bining songs which treated the same or related subjects ; 
the more so as he observed this to be constantly done by 
the popular singers themselves. A whole thus made up 
of a number of separate songs which he heard at Vuon- 
ninen in Russian Carelia in 1833 from the singer Vassili, 
presented him with a model on which to order the runes 
relating to Vainamoinen.^ His first attempt at combina- 
tion, made in the same year, was a short poem (unpub- 
lished) bearing the title of Vdindmoinen ; but he quickly 
set to work at a longer poem, which he called the Kalevala. 
This he presented in February, 1835, to the Society of 
Finnish Literature, by which it was immediately pub- 
lished.* The poem was followed by variants, and among 
them were epic runes for which no place could be found 
in the body of the work. The poem consisted of thirty- 

* See Palm^n, L'ceuvre demi-sAculaire de la SociiU de Litt. finlandaise 
et le inouveinent national en Finlande de 1831 d 1881, Helsingfors, 1882. 

" The little periodical, Meliildinen {The Bee), which he started and con- 
tinued for four years (1836-7 Uleftborg, 1839-40 Helsingfors), contains his 
own studies and a mass of material in the shape of popular literature of 
every kind, both in poetry and in prose. 

' See Helsingfors Morgonhlad, 1834 to 1857. 

* Kalevala taikka vanlwja Karjalan runoja, Suomen Kansan tmiino- 
aista ajoista {Kalevala, or Ancient {Carelian) Songs of the Primitive Finnic 
People), Helsingf., 18.35. This first edition is now extremely rare. From 
it Castren made his beautiful Swedish translation : Kalevala ofversatt af 
M. A. Gastrin, HeUingf., 1841. 


two cantos and over 12,000 lines ; but the increase in 
material owing to further researches, the criticism of other 
scholars ^ and his own progress in these studies, induced 
Lonnrot to re-order the whole, adding fresh matter and 
inserting what he had at first left out. In 1849 a new 
and final edition was brought out ; the poem then had 
fifty cantos and 22,800 lines.^ 

For the composition, the weaving of the Kalevala, 
Lonnrot had, as we said, laid under contribution all tra- 
ditional Finnish poetry of whatever kind ; the poem was 
based, however, on narrative, heroic songs, or epics, which 
were all, and some even under more forms than one, united 
in it. He also introduced a considerable number of magic 
songs, whether narrative or not, wedding songs, and those 
concerning the Bear ; as well as many verses and extracts 

1 Especially Castren in the preface to the Swedish translation of the 
first edition, and Tengstrom in his sensible paper in the Fosterlandskt 
Album, i. (1845), p. 123 et seq. Lonnrot expounded his idea concerning 
the issue of a new edition in several articles in the Helsingf. Litteratur- 
blad, 1848-9. 

2 Later editions of the same text were issued at Helsingfors in 1866, 
1870, 1877, 1882 ; these last three are cheap editions {helpohintaiiien 
painos) with explanatory footnotes, index of names and of the words 
treated in the notes ; they are also illustrated. The last one is the most 
complete as regards the explanations and the drawings, which are ar- 
ranged in thirty plates. All these editions are for the use of Finns and 
of those who know Finnish ; the explanations are therefore entirely in 
this language. Lonnrot was very sparing of explanations in the texts 
which he published, as he was already engaged on his great work, the 
Finno-Swedish Dictionary (issued 1874-80; supplem. 1886), which also 
serves for the language of the runes. In 1862, however, he edited an 
abridged edition of the Kalevala with notes (in Finnish) for the use of 
schools {Kalevala, lyhennetty laitos, tdrkedmmilla selityksylld kouloujen 
tarpeeksi). Ahlqvist published the first five cantos of the Kalevala with 
Swedish notes : De fern forsta sdngerna af Kalevala med svensk. ordbok, 
Helsingf., 1853 ; and afterwards the first ten in his Finnish reading- 
book {Suomalamen lukemisto), which has run through several editions 
^third, 1883). Ahlqvist has also published a very useful and complete 
alphabetical list of all the words used in the Kalevala {Tdydellinen Kale- 
valan sanasto) ; it forms No. 27 (Helsingf., 1878) of the Bidrag till Kdn- 
nedcmi af Filmlands NaUtr och Folk utg. af F. Vetensk.-Societ. 


from lyric songs. So that, although the Kalevala thus be- 
came a synthesis of traditional poetry, that poetry still 
remains divisible into the natural categories of epic, lyric, 
epic-lyric and magic ; the more so as, besides the epic or 
heroic poems, there was a mass of magic, lyric and epic- 
lyric songs not included or not fully incorporated in the 
Kalevala and adapted to separate publication. These 
Lonnrot collected, giving to the vv^orld in 1840 under the 
title of Kanteletar (which may be translated Lyrics) a great 
number of lyric and epic-lyric songs ; following them in 
the same year with the Proverbs (Sananlaskut),^ interesting 
and characteristic as forming an integral part of the tra- 
ditional poetry and of the runes, in which they represent 
the didactic element. In 1844 he issued the Riddles 
(Arvoitukset) ,'^ which are also not alien to the study of this 

^ Stwmen kansan sananlaskuja (Proverbs of the Finnish People) y 
Helsingf., 1842. It contains above 7000 proverbs. Tbis, however, is not 
the first collection of Finnish proverbs ; several others preceded it ; the 
most ancient is that of Florinus, Abo, 1702. After Lonnrot, Ahlqvist issued 
a selection of proverbs for the use of the young (Valittuja sananlaskitjd 
nuorisolle, Helsingf., 1896) with explanations (in Finnish) of words and 
things, for the Finnish proverb is not always easy to understand. ^lany 
of these proverbs are translated in various writings, e.g., Gottlund, De 
proverbiis Fennicis, Upsala, 1818 ; Bertram, Jenseits der Scheeren, Leipz., 
1854, p. 39 et seq. ; Sjogren, Ueher die Finn. Spr. u. Literal., St. Petersb., 
1821, p. 64 et seq. {Oesamm. Schrift., i., p. 80 et seq.), etc. Of the pro- 
verbial didactic element of the runes Altmann gives examples in his little 
work, Runen Jinnisclier Volkspoesie gesamm. u. fibers., Leipz., 1866 ; but the 
book contains many errors and mistaken ideas. 

"^ Sicomen kansan arvoituksia ynnd 189 Viron arvoituksia kanssa 
{Riddles of tJie Finnish People and 189 Esthonian Riddles), Helsingf., 
1844 ; second edition with additions, 1851 (in this last there are 2224). In 
his collection and publication of riddles Lonnrot has been preceded by 
Ganander [Acnigniata fennica, Vasa, 1788), whose preface he reproduced 
in his own collection. Many riddles, translated into Swedish, were given 
by Lonnrot in the first volume of the Siionii (1841), where he also gives 
information and comments on the collections both of the riddles and of 
proverbs {Omfinska Ordsprdk och Gator), translating many of the latter. 
From this work of Lonnrot there has lately been drawn a little volume 
bearing the title Finska ordsprdk och Gator af Elias LOnnrot, Helsingf. 
(Edlund), 1887. 


poetry, serving to characterise its language and poetical 
formulas, its images, its periphrastic modes. Lastly he 
published in 1880, towards the end of his hfe, the 
important collection of magic songs (Loitsurunot) which 
he had withheld till then, perhaps under the idea that he 
had already made known the best of them in the Kalevala, 
Finnish poetry, as presented in these pubhcations of 
Lonnrot, must appear strangely anomalous to the stu- 
dent of popular literatures and of the ordinary history of 
national poetry. There are magic, lyric, epic-lyric songs ; 
but there are no separate heroic, epic songs ; nothing but. 
one great, ancient and traditional epic. All those epic 
songs or. runes which the popular singers or laulajat recite 
separately figure as parts or fragments of this single,, 
ancient epic, outside of which there is no other epos or 
cycle of epics. And this ancient poem, unknown to the 
laulajat, Lonnrot claims to have reconstructed ; whence,, 
in accordance with the well-known German theories on 
the Homeric poems, he is often called the Homer of 
Finland. According to Lonnrot, an ancient poet, con- 
temporary of the events (?) recorded, composed a smaller 
poem, which, handed down by tradition, expanded as. 
time went on, and spht up into several variants. From 
these a poem, naturally somewhat greater than the origi- 
nal nucleus, can be reconstructed.^ Many have thought 

^ We may refer here to what Lonnrot wrote in this connection after 
the new edition of the Kalei^la in Helsingf. Litter aturhlad, 1849, n. 1,. 
p. 20 : " No discussion as to the mode of origin of the Homeric poems could 
ever have arisen had those who have written on this subject had the ex- 
perience which I have acquired through the Finnish poems, of the influ- 
ence of tradition on poetry. They would all have agreed that some poet 
first briefly sang contemporary events, and that tradition then expanded 
the songs and produced variants of them. He who afterwards collected 
these variants did much the same as I have done in ordering and weaving 
together those of the songs of the Kalcvala ; only I beg that no one take 
these words amiss, as though I wished to place my abilities or the 
subject I have treated on a par with that other collector and his work. 
The various dialectic forms which occur so often in the Homeric poem& 


that the Homeric poems originated and were put together 
in the same manner. The Kalevala, then^ was generally 
considered, both in Finland and abroad, as an ancient 
national epos, orally preserved by tradition, and collected 
from the mouths of the people, principally by Lonnrot. 
It was in this sense that Jacob Grimm understood it,^ 
when, in 1845, he wrote of it with admiration ; as others 
have also done down to the present day. 

When the Kalevala appeared the Homeric question 
was being discussed with much vigour. It had received 
fresh life from the bold theory put forward by Lachmann, 
who, in his famous Betrachkmgen (1837), picked the Iliad 
to pieces, and, applying the same principle and method 
to the Niebelungen, suggested the manner in which everj^ 
other national epos might be analysed. It was not likely, 
however, that the men and the schools occupied with this 
question should see its relation to the Finnic poem ; they 
were too full of prejudices, too narrowly classical in their 
scientific outlook, too far removed from the Finnish 
language and people. The Kalevala^ therefore, was little 
known among them ; though it was cited as an example 
to prove, in opposition to Wolf, that a large poem can, 
without the aid of writing, be composed and handed down 

render impossible the belief that the latter were the work of one man or 
were handed down by tradition without many variants. He who orders 
and puts together these pieces of a cycle of songs must sometimes insert a 
connecting line, and I doubt not that such lines can be found, if we look 
for them, in the Homeric poem. I also nave had to introduce some of 
them into the runes of the Kalevala ; but it seemed to me, and to others 
also, that it would have been mere pedantry to draw attention to them, 
especially as they have nothing to do with the poem itself, and consist 
generally in such phrases as ' He expressed himself in words and spoke 
thus' (Saium virkkoi, noin nwicsi), or, 'Then he spoke and said' [Siita 
tuon sanokisi virkki), etc." 

' Uebcr das Finnisclie Epos {Hoefer's Zcitschr., 1845), Kleine 
Schriften, ii., 75 et seq. ; see p. 77 et seq. This paper of Grimm was 
translated into Swedish in the Fosterldirdskt Album, ii. (1845), p. 60 et 


by tradition, and live orally for centuries.^ It was better 
known in other regions of intellectual activity.- Its in- 
fluence is distinctly traceable in Longfellow's " Hiawatha," 
where its metre and parallelism are imitated. It had 
many translators in various languages,^ and was even 
subjected to a critical analysis with the view of resolving 

1 We must except J. Caesar, the classic philologist, who wrote an 
address, Das Finnische Volksepos Kalevala (Stuttgart, 1862), in which 
he hints at the affinity which possibly exists between the study of this 
poem and the Homeric question, but without entering deeply into the 

2 What Rosenkranz, M. Carriere, Uhland, Max Miiller, Geffroy and 
•others have said about it was published by Rothsten in his preface to the 
■edition of 1887. 

^ First in Swedish, the first edition by Lonnrot himself {Helsingfors 
Morgonhlad, 1835-6) ; then better by Castren (see above) ; the second edi- 
tion, in part translated in Swedish, by Borg {Ktdlervo, Helsingf., 1850; 
Lemminkciinen, Helsingf., 1852 ; " Rune XLII." in Suomi, 1851) ; then 
entirely by CoUan (Helsingf., 1864-8), who also translates a part of 
Lonnrot's introduction. R. Hertzberg gives a free Swedish translation, 
compressing the text (Helsingf., 1884). He had previously issued a precis 
in prose for young people [Kalevala berattad for jungdom, Helsingf., 1875). 

In German, Schiefner gave a useful, if not very elegant translation in 
the original metre, line for line (Helsingf., 1852 ; Ahlqvist's critique of it 
is important, Suomi, 1853 ; Schiefner's reply appeared in the Melanges 
russes, ii., 435 et seq.). More elegant is Paul's German translation, 
Helsingf., 1885-6. 

In English appeared first J. Porter's incomplete Selections from the 
Kalevala (New York, 1863), which was followed by J. M. Crawford's com- 
plete translation in the original metre (New York, 1889). 

In French we have an attempt by Uifalvy (Paris, 1876), and a complete 
translation (in prose) by Leouzon le Due (Paris, 1867). 

In Hungarian, Ferd. Barna's translation has run through two editions 
.(Pesth, 1871 ; Helsingf., 1877). 

In Russian, besides some parts translated by S. W. Helgren (Kullervo, 
Moscow, 1880; Aino, Helsingf., 1880; Rune I.-III., Helsingf., 1885), we 
have the complete translation by E. Granstrom (St. Petersburg, 1880). 

In Bohemian, a translation undertaken by G. Holezek in the illus- 
trated paper Riich, 1884. 

In Italian, Dom. Ciampoli promises us a translation of which he has 
already given two samples {Runes VIII. and L., Catania, 1890) in heroics, 
-an error which it is heartily to be hoped he may correct. 


it into its component parts. But when V. Tettau under- 
took this task,^ he had neither the knowledge nor the docu- 
ments which we have now to enable him to obtain a. 
clear definition of traditional Finnish poetry ; and besides 
he had to work with facts obtained at second hand. Much 
interest had been excited and was still being excited 
among students of the natural production of the epos, by 
the publication of the Servian songs, and of the Kussian 
bijliny, which evidently furnished an example of such 
production during the period of small or less extended 
songs. The Ossianic poems, independently even of Mac- 
pherson's forgeries, began, in face of this frankly popular, 
primitive, virgin and, above all, authentic poetry, to fall 
more and more into disrepute as the product of a people- 
which had had for centuries a history, civilisation and 
literature. But the Finns rank above the Servians and 
Russians as offering in their Kalevala a more advanced 
stage of development : that in which smaller or less ex- 
tended songs have already given place to a great epic-- 
composition, or, in other words, these smaller or less ex- 
tended songs are so highly developed and consistent that 
a great poem can be made by weaving them together ; and 
this could not be done with the short Servian and Russian 
poems. Nor were those wanting who observed this, and 
thus detenuined the value of the Finnish poem.- Still,. 
current ideas concerning the Kalevala were very inexact 
and incorrect, even among the Finns themselves, at the 
date of Lonnrot's death (1884) and of the publication 
(1885) of the late lamented Julius Krohn's (1888) thorough- 
going work. The latter displayed a profound and direct 
knowledge of all the popular hterature of his country, and 
gave in Finnish not a simple critical analysis of the Kale- 

* Ueber die epischen DichUingen d. FinniscJien Vulker, hcsonders die- 
Kalevala, Erfurt, 1873. 

" Steinthal, Das Epos in Zeitschrift filr VUlkerpsycJwlogie, v.„ 


uala based on induction or on guess-work, but on positive 
facts concerning it.^ 

Whatever may be the judgment pronounced by others 
or by ourselves on the work of Lonnrot and on the ideas 
which directed it, we must never fail to honour him as 
honest, candid, and most conscientious. Frank and up- 
right in hfe and in death, he bequeathed all his manu- 
scripts to the Society of Finnish Literature ; and in them, 
as well as in those of other collectors, which he also laid 
under contribution and which now all belong to the 
society, his method of working can be studied by every 
one. A delicate feeling of respect for the man so gener- 
ally honoured, hindered investigations, during his lifetime, 
into a work which, dear as it was to the nation, was still 
dearer to its author. For Lonnrot was not only a man of 
science ; he loved to call himself also a popular singer or 
laulaja, and he combined all the conscientiousness of the 
former with the rights, of which he made full use, accru- 
ing to him from the latter position. " But when he died 
(1884) and. the fear of wounding his susceptibilities passed 
away, scientific reason could begin her work without fear 
of giving offence. Ahlqvist was the first to publish a 
work (whose audacity with regard to certain sentiments he 
made no pretence at dissembHng) in which he critically 
examined and revised the text of the Kalevala,^ showing 

1 Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden historia. Ensimm. Osa, Kalevala 
(History of Finnic Literature, part i., " The Kalevala "), Helsingf., 1885. 
A Swedish and a German translation of this book are in course of pre- 
paration. The contents of the last chapter were published in German by 
Krohn himself under the title Die Entstehung der einheitlichen Epen 
im allgemeinen in the Zeitschr. fur \olkerpsycliologic, xviii. (1888), 
p. 59 et seq. Precis of other chapters of the same book are to be found 
in the Kalevala- Studien, published in Swedish by Krohn in the Finsk 
Tidskrift, xxi. (1886), pp. 99 et seq., 177 et seq., 241 et seq. (German 
translation in the Zeitschr. fUr Volkskunde, i., pp. 117 et seq., 209 et seq.) 

2 Kalevalan textin tutkimusta ja tarkastusta, Helsingf., 1856. See the 
important notice of it given by Krohn in the Valvoja, vi., 1886, p. 287 
et seq. Of Lonnrot's methods with regard to the publication of the runes 


how, in many places, Lonnrot had amplified and reformed 
the text of the second edition too freely, often with mis- 
taken ideas as to language and style, introducing more 
lines of his own than he had proposed doing, or had 
actually done at first, and making use of inferior songs 
and variants. Krohn, too, gave to the world the book of 
which we have already spoken, and of which we shall have 
to make considerable use as we proceed ; and in addition 
to these, the Society of Finnish Literature has already 
begun its edition of the Variants of the Kalevala, as it calls 
the collection of all the epic songs, under all their varia- 
tions, in their genuine and original form and state, as- 
they were received from the mouths of the popular 
singers and written down by numerous collectors. The 
small portion of this work which has hitherto been 
published gives already an idea of what the fundamental 
constituent elements of the Kalevala are in their primitive 
and natural condition.^ Nevertheless, it will not be possible 
to draw any exact idea of the poem, even from the com- 
pleted collection, without a study of the Kanteletar or 
lyric songs, of the Loitsurunot or magic songs, and of the 
Sananlaskut or proverbs. The society will doubtless do 

and the composition of the Kalevala, Ahlqvist speaks in the biography 
published immediately after Lonnrot's death, Elias Lonnrot biografiskt 
uttkast af A. Ahlqvist, Helsingf., 1884. 

* Only one number, Krohn's latest work, has as yet appeared, bear- 
ing the title Kalevalan Toisinnot : Suomen Kansalliscpokscn ainekset 
jdrjcstettyind sisdllyksen ja laulupaikkojen mukaan {Variants of the 
Kalevala : The Elements of the Finnic National Epos ordered accordituf 
to the Contents of tJie Songs and the Localities from lohich tliey were 
draion). It contains the variants relating to the Creation and those relat- 
ing to the Rape of the Sampo, as they were collected in the Grand-duchy 
of Finland, in the Gov. of Olonetz, in Ingria, and in Esthonia. We have 
been for some time expecting the publication, by A. Borenius, of those 
variants collected in the Gov. of Archangel, in which the song of the 
Creation is joined to that of the Rape of the Sampo by the introduction 
of the song of the Making of the Sampo ; the real nucleus of the Kalevala, 
I have had the privilege of seeing what has been printed : the group of 
Bongs of Vuonninen and part of that of Latvajiirvi. 


for the lyric and magic what it is now doing for the epic 
songs : it will give the original variants. For here, too> 
Lonnrot adopted his peculiar method of composition,, 
putting together what was best and amending one variant 
at the expense of others and of various songs; so that 
here, as in the Kalevala, there is no single song which is 
really and unvaryingly sung by the people as Lonnrot has 
published it, although all the lines that compose each 
song are truly popular. The instability, the fluidity of 
this poetry as it exists among the popular singers is not 
apparent under the form which Lonnrot has given it ; 
yet it is very important that this instability should be 
made clear. Meanwhile the Kanteletar, the Loitsurunot ,. 
and even the Sananlaskut may serve, with the Kalevala, 
to complete what is characteristic in the traditional poetry 
of the Finns ; while they also afford an independent study 
of certain aspects which in the Kalevala appear only as 
parts of a whole. 

In the three books of the Kanteletar'^ Lonnrot intended 
giving collections of songs which are neither strictly epic 
nor magic, but subjective in argument, or lyric ; the 
sentiment and thought being either directly formulated, 

1 Kanteletar, taikka Suomen kansan vanhoja lauluja ja virsia, Hel- 
singfors, 1840; 2nd ed., ib., 1864; 3rd ed., ib., 1887. This last does not 
give the variants, but it contains a good index (in Finnic) of the less 
common v^rords, edited by J. Krohn. R. Hertzberg has issued a selection 
of the best of these poems for the use of young people {Kanteletar nuori- 
solle ; kokous kaunimmista Kanteletaren runoista, Helsingf., 1874). The 
excellent preface by Lonnrot, in which the nature and character of this 
poetry is treated, has been translated into Swedish under the title 
Finska folksangens karaktdr in the Fosterldndskt Album, iii. (Helsingf., 
1847), p. 94 et seq. ; the same publication (ii., 1845, p. 3 et seq.) gives in 
Swedish several songs of the first part, and (iii., p. 33 et seq.) some of the 
third; about seventy songs have also been translated into Swedish in 
Tengstrom's Finsk Antliologi, Helsingf., 1845, p. 91 et seq. There is 
no complete translation of this collection. A volume containing an ex- 
cellent German translation of a good many songs was published by the 
late H. Paul : Kanteletar, die Volkskjrik der Finnen ins Deutsche Ubertra- 
gen, Helsingfors, 1882. 


or presented in a narrative form. In addition to com- 
positions more generic in nature, expressing the senti- 
ment, the vocation of the poet, his state of mind at the 
moment of inspiration, otttt?/ Ov/jlo^; eTroTpvvrja-iv delBeiv, or 
other feelings, joyous or sad, equally generic, we here 
have songs sung at weddings, songs sung by shep- 
herds, by children, and then those of maidens at the 
dance, at their games, when thinking of the bridegroom, 
while merry-making, jesting, feeling sad, working at 
the mill; and songs of brides, of women rocking their 
babies, etc. ; and songs of youths while dancing and 
making merry, thinking on matrimony or in other cir- 
cumstances ; and songs of men in the married life, at the 
chase, in war, etc. Besides these we have an important 
group of lyrical-narrative songs (called by Lonnrot virsi- 
lauhct), which give us ancient myths. Christian legends, 
mediaeval ballads, and even some few historical facts, in 
addition to a miscellany of various subjects, principally 
suitable to romances. Without a doubt many com- 
parisons may be made between these songs and the 
popular poetry of other nations ; and in many cases either 
the subject-matter or the shade of sentiment expressed 
reveals an origin by no means ancient ; but all this poetrj^ 
bears its own special impress, which distinguishes it as an 
original, national product, from other songs which have 
come into use more recently, and are nothing more than 
imitations or even translations from Swedish songs. 
Lonnrot gives a group of these as examples in his intro- 
duction to the Kanteletar ; the difference between them 
and those of national origin is clear and evident, both in 
the metre and in the other elements of the poems.^ There 
are parts of Finland where only this last kind of modern 
song is known, and where it spreads, printed or unprinted, 
side by side with the religious songs. This happens in 

' With regard to the metre and structure of the original rune, see 
p. 32. 


Savolaks, in Tavastland, in Eastern Bothnia ; whereas 
the principal centre of the traditional songs is Russian 
and Finnic Carelia. The first characteristic of the na- 
tional songs is the one unvarying form of the rune, which 
is the same in the lyric as in the epic lays. Neither 
does the tone nor the style vary much : the lyric poetry 
is never exalted, profound, nebulous, but gentle, sweet 
and clear; the epos is never solemn, broad, majestic, but 
simple, frank, somew^hat rapid, and animated by a viva- 
city and heat peculiar to itself ; so that the epic and the 
lyric are so homogeneous in form and tenor that they 
easily mingle. Here in the Kanteletar we recognise, 
standing alone, many songs of various kinds, which 
figure with the epic songs, in the web of the Kalevala. 
Lonnrot himself was unable to make any very definite 
distinction ; for we find him giving among the lyrics songs 
which in the Kalevala are placed amongst the epics, 
those, for instance, about the son of Kojonen, about 
Lyylikki, etc., and in the Loitsurunot among the magic 
lays, e.g., that on the Origin of Beer, which also occurs in 
the Kalevala. 

Very ancient is the rune. Created when the Finns 
were heathens and employed in the expression of their 
religious idea, in the formation of their poetic myth, and 
of the heroic ideals connected with it, it reached its 
first and principal development in the magic song. Very 
ancient and powerful is the poetical instinct among this 
people. They feel themselves poets and they reverence 
poetry : the words {saanat) whose power is great, and 
efficacy divine. The beautiful runes in the Kalevala 
on the origin of the cithern or kantele are an admir- 
able poetical embodiment of such sentiment, of such 
reverence, of the enthusiasm which song raises among 
them. Those who collect the songs often testify to 

The source is gradually drying up : new times, contact 


with other peoples, external influences of various kinds, the 
nearer or more remote effects of general European cul- 
ture and of their own which is broadening and deepening, 
all tend to depreciate the spontaneous work of minds that 
are leaving or have already left their primitive conditions, 
and to discredit the ancestral rune, survivor of so long a 
series of generations. In some regions, however, the rune 
still lives, the songs still abound. The laulajat sing and 
repeat at weddings, feasts, rustic merry-makings, evening 
gatherings, the songs which are the work of all, the songs 
handed down by their fathers. They sing them, and im- 
provise new ones. Improvisation is rendered extremely 
easy by the metre and manner of versification, which are 
perfectly in harmony with the tonic and melodic character 
of their language. Thus, for example, the funeral chants 
improvised by illiterate peasants are often most charming. 
They are in the form of the rune, but are not traditional, 
not ancient, and were therefore not included in the col- 
lections of runes that have hitherto been published. 
Neither are the women less occupied than the men in 
the making and handing down of songs. In addition to 
the wedding runes, which it is their peculiar duty to sing, 
they have a great many special songs for various occasions ,* 
among others some, which are both curious and charming, 
for singing, as did the Lesbian women, while they turn 
the hand-mill. Aged women, as well as old men, often 
excite our wonder by the extraordinary number of songs 
that they know by heart. ^ 

^ Vid. Porthan, De poesi fennica, in his Opera selecta, vol. iii. (Helsingf., 
1567), p. 308 et seq. For notices of singers, songs, places where these last 
are preserved, the accounts of travels in search of runes many of which 
have been published, are of importance ; we may cite Ahlqvist (prov. of 
Viborg and of Olonetz) in Suomi, 1856, and in his volume Muistelmid 
matkoilta Vendjalta (memoirs of journeys in Russia), Helsingf., 1859 ; 
Lenkela (Ingria) in Siwmi, 1859 ; Tallqvist and Tomeroos (Ingria), i6., 
1860; Grundstroem (Ingria), ih., 1866; Borenius (Russian Carelia), i6., 
1876 ; see also Kieletdr, iii. ; also Borenius' Runonlaulu nykyishiiL 


The Finns of Finland, all Lutherans, know how to 
read ; must know how to do so, otherwise they cannot be 
confirmed, and therefore cannot marry ; but this obliga- 
tory instruction is not of ancient date. The rune originated 
while they were pagans and totally illiterate. It lived 
and spread after the adoption of Christianity (twelfth cen- 
tury); for they remained illiterate during the whole of 
the Cathohc period (1157-1528), and a great part of the 
Lutheran, although their language already began to be 
written after the middle of the sixteenth century through 
the efforts of Bishop Michael Agricola. He fixed the 
alphabet^ and issued a printed translation of the Lutheran 
catechism,^ of the Gospel, the psalter, a prayer-book 
{Bukoushirja), etc. The Finns of Kussia and of the Eussian 
Church are still quite illiterate and in a state of primi- 
tive simplicity ; among them the tradition of the songs 
has remained singularly fresh. For the genuine traditional 
rune is in its essence the poetry of the iUiterate, the poetry 
of nature. The singer has gone through no course of 
studies ; he knows it, and says so ; but he also knows and 
asserts that he has in his soul a divine spark, a rich vein 
due to no study and to no school, unless it be to the 

aikoina (contemporary runic songs) in Sttomen Kuvalehti, 1873 ; Pork- 
ka (Ingria) in Suomi, 1886. Julius Krohn collected, after Europaeus' 
death, and published in the Valvoja, 1887, interesting accounts of the 
latter's travels in the provinces of Olonetz and Archangel. 

1 The Abckirja or alphabet of Michael Agricola is the first book 
printed in Finnic (perhaps at Stockholm, 1540). All trace of it had been 
lost, but remains of an incomplete copy were found at Upsala and at Hel- 
singfors. A facsimile of what remains has recently been made by U. G. 
Leinberg at Jyweskyla, 1884, under the title Suomenkielisen kirjallisun- 
den esikoinen. Michael Agricolan A bckirja. 

2 Next to the alphabet the catechism is the most ancient Finnic 
book (1543). With regard to this, and the other ancient publications in 
this language, see Pipping's catalogue, Forteckning bfver i tryck utgifna 
skrifter pa Finska, Helsingf., 1856-7. Concerning Michael Agricola, see 
the interesting anonymous publication in the Fosterldndskt Alburn^ 
iii., Helsingf., 1847, pp. 121-173. 


school of nature and of domestic life where he learns, with 
his mother tongue, the songs handed down from his an- 
cestors. The singer very frequently prefaces his song 
with verses laudatorj' of himself and his knowledge. 
Besides work of this sort occurring in the Kanteletar, a 
very good example is offered in the poem of the Kalevala, 
put together from many smaller proems of the same nature. 
Just as the Homeric bard boasts of the learning he has 
himself acquired, of the great variety of the songs with 
which a god has inspired him, so the Finnic laulaja also 
vaunts himself : ^ A hundred sayings do I possess, fastened to 
my girdle, to my ring, to my side, which not every child can 
sing, nor every lad the half of them} . . . My songs are my 
learning, my verses my goods ; from the roads did I dig them, 
from green houghs did I plv^k them, I wreiiched them from the 
heather plants, when a little one I was herding, a little child 
teas tending lambs. Up from the honeymounds, across the 
•golden hillocks, songs did the whid waft me, the air cradled 
them by himdreds, verses surged around me, sayings rained doivn 
.like water, ^ . . . my father would sing them as he fitted a new 
handle to his axe ; from my mother would I learn them as her 
spindle twirled, and I, a baby sprawling on the grouTid, rolled 
at her feet, a meiuling infant, a wanton youngster. . . . 

Notwithstanding this tendency towards poetry, and 
this feehng for it, the minstrels among the Finns have 

^ On mulla sata sanaa 
Alia vyoni ansahassa, 
Rengahassa reidellani, 
Joita ei laulaa kaikki lapset, 
Eika poika puoletkana. 

— V. Porthan, De poesi fcnnica {Op. sel., iii., p. 350). 
* Kanteletar (Alkulause), p. xlii. (3rd ed.). 

Omat on viret oppimani, 
Omat saamani sanaset., etc. 
' Niit'ennen iseni lauloi 
Kirvesvartta vuollessansa, etc. 

— Kalevala, i., 36 et seq. 


never constituted a class, nor singing and verse-making a 
profession. Superiority in talent, in aptitude for becom- 
ing a good laulaja, is felt and recognised in whoever dis- 
plays it ; such a man is reputed a finer singer than another 
or than many others ; but no name ever becomes eminent ; 
there is no record of any celebrated poet or rune-maker. 
Vainamoinen, the eternal singer continually mentioned 
in the epos, is an ancient ideal, standing at the head of 
a band Hke unto himself, of a poetry unique and so im- 
personal as to be not even the work of a special class. 
In the villages, where the tradition of song most hngers, 
a man will sometimes be found who is famous because 
he knows many runes and is a good laulaja ; as was, for 
instance, in 1834, the octogenarian Arhippa, of Latvajarvi, 
in Eussian Careha ; ^ and some singers of one or two 
generations back are still spoken of by those who have 
drawn on them. But narrow is the circle within which 
such names are repeated. Weak is their echo ; it would 
already have exhausted itself had not the diligence of 
collectors gathered up everything concerning even the 
personal history of those from whom the songs were 

The conditions under which poetry grew up and 

1 This Arhippa, who at eighty years of age still preserved an excellent 
memory, was perhaps one of the principal singers, if not the principal, 
from whom a great number of songs were obtained for the composition of 
the Kalevala. He died about 1840, after having been visited by Lonnrot 
(1834), Cajan (1836), Castren (1849). His family came from the neigh- 
bourhood of the river Oulu (Ulea). He had sons who were also singers ; 
but he had no very high idea of their ability, although they too 
furnished songs to the collectors. Arhippa drew his knowledge from his 
father, of whom he boasted as being a much better singer than himself, a 
man of great stature and full of energy, known as the Great Jivana 
{Suuri Jivana), whose name is still remembered, as is that of one of his 
companions, Jivana, the Diver-bird [Kuikka- Jivana), with whom he used 
to sing runes while they were out with their fishing-nets. See Lonnrot's 
memoirs of his journey in Helsingfors Morgonblad, 1835, and Borenius* 
notice in Kalevalan Toisinnot, first series, i., p. 28. 


flourished caused it to remain among the Finns in a 
state of primitive simpHcity. It was subjected to no 
perfecting or refining process. A simple, easy form was 
created, we do not quite know when, but certainly some 
centuries ago, and has remained unvaried to the present 
day. It would be an error to class the aoidoi, bards, 
scalds, with the laulajat ; not only because the latter 
belong to no class or profession, but also because the 
conditions of the society in which they exist are very 
different from those in which the former flourished. Born 
in an elementary and primitive society, the rune is adapted 
for that only ; having its origin in the inrtti, in the hota, 
in the talo, in the lonely dwelling where the family abides, 
it is fitted for the pirtti, the kota, the talo. It penetrates 
as far as the kyld or village ; this being considered, how- 
ever, not as a social unit, but as a group of houses and of 
families. There it took root and has survived where, far 
from towns and' noisy centres, life is still near the con- 
ditions in which the rune was born ; but it has melted 
away and vanished where foreign influences have given 
rise to a more complex society and mode of life. It 
neither knows nor cares to know of any higher authority 
than that of the father or mother (isanta — emanta) as 
ruling the family; kingdom, state, city, palace, castle, kings, 
princes, knights, ladies, do not exist in its world ; it knows 
nothing of them, does not seek them, draws no inspira- 
tion from them, gives them no place among its ideals. 
These things do not, in fact, form part of the society to 
which the rune belongs, but of that foreign society 
(Swedish or Kussian) to which the Finns were obliged 
to submit, it is true, but with which they never fused. 
Examining it thus, in its ideal world, the faithful reflec- 
tion of that from which it emerges, we find that this 
poetry is lacking in those two elements by means of 
which, even independently of writing, natural and primi- 
tive poetry is so far refined as to become a work of art : 


Finland knew neither the class of professional singers ; 
nor the powerful, noble and wealthy classes whose 
favour is a stimulus to competition and thus to im- 
provement, and whose very presence suggests the idea 
and the need of refinement, of the nobility derived from 
letters and art. Every intelligent student of popular 
songs and epics will here ask what kind of epos, of hero, 
of heroic action, can be expected from a life so rudi- 
mentary, an outlook so limited on the world, on the more 
complex forms of society and on the forces therein at 
work? It is true, the Kalevala differs under this aspect 
from every other national epos. It is altogether wanting 
in that conception of civil aggregates which in one form 
or another, in a more or less marked degree, is found in 
the epic poetry of so many other peoples, whose epos is 
as closely connected with their history as the Kalevala 
is far removed from that of the Finns. We shall see 
this more clearly with its causes in the theoretical part 
of this work. Meanwhile, let us say at once what we 
shall discuss more fully later on, that, notwithstanding all 
that has hitherto been written about the Kalevala, we 
cannot understand and define the nature and origin of 
the Finnic epic rune, with its anomalies, except by start- 
ing from the study of the magic rune. 

The magic song, or magic rune {loitsuruno),^ is the 

^Lonnrot, Suomen kansan loitsurunoja, Helsingf., 1880. There is no 
complete translation of this collection ; many of the songs contained in it 
were, however, translated into French prose by Beauvois, La magie chez 
les fiitnois, in the Revue de Vhist. des religions, 1882; into English prose 
by Abercromby, Magic Songs of the Finns, in Folklore Quarterly Review, 
i., 1890 ; and some into German verse by H. Paul, Kanteletar, p. 327 et 
seq. Concerning magic amongst the Finns, besides Lonnrot's preface to 
that collection and the work by Beauvois just quoted, see Lonnrot, 
Afhandling om Finnarnes magiska viedicin., Helsingf., 1832, and at greater 
length in the periodical Finska Ldkaresdllsk. Handl., vol. i., Helsingf., 
1842 ; Lencqvist, De superstitione veterum Fennorum theoretica et practica, 
Aboee, 1782 (reproduced in Porthan's Opera selecta, vol. iv., p. 23 et seq.) ; 
Rosenbom, De fama magice Fennis attrihuta, Aboae, 1789 (reproduced in 


fundamental product, the distinctive characteristic of this 
poetry ; it is the rune par excellence ; it is imbued with the 
life of the people, with its reHgious past, with its memories, 
with its ideals. The part which magic action plays in the 
Kalevala, and the numerous magic runes introduced into the 
poem in their entirety by Lonnrot. afford excellent proof 
of its reality and importance, as well as of its epic function 
among the Finns. The magic song is conspicuous enough 
among many peoples, but its poetical value is generally 
small, and it holds but an unimportant place in the history 
of their poetry. Here, on the contrary, it plays a principal 
part : with it appears and develops not only poetry of 
word and conception, but also the poetical myth, else- 
where the accompaniment and product of the ancient, 
sacred hymn. It is easy to recognise in this fact a result 
of the shamanism which was without doubt the earliest 
religion of the Finns ; as it was and is still to some extent 
that of the peoples, whether European or Asiatic, Ural- 
Altaic or Ugro-Finn, that are anthropologically or 
linguistically related to them, such as the Lapps, Ostyaks, 
Voguls, Mordvins, Magyars, etc. 

The shamanic idea was not extinguished among the 
Finns, as among the Magyars, by contact with European 
peoples and by the resulting influences, which we shall 
presently study ; it was only modified. Even before this 
people became Christians their shamanism had doubtless 
raised itself above the rough, primitive conditions in which 
it exists among other shghtly civihsed peoples, and had 
approached the paganism of Europe, of the Scandinavians 

Porthan's Op. sel., vol. iv., p. 181 et seq.) ; Castren, Om Finnarnes troll- 
konst, in his Tillfalliga icppsdtser, p. 3 et seq.; id., Allmdn Ofversigt om 
Finnarnes Otidaliira och niagi under Jiedendom, ib., p. 14 et seq. ; Murman, 
Nagra upplysningar om Finnarnes Fordna vidskepliga bruk och troll- 
konstcr, in Suonii, 1855, p. 285 et seq. ; Hertzberg, Vidskepelse i Finland 
p& 1600 talet, Helsingf., 1889, which gives (p. 59 et seq.) several songs and 
magic formulas, originating chiefly in Eastern Bothnia, found written in 
ancient registers of that century. 


and the Lithu-Slavs. The magic drum was abandoned 
and forgotten even while the neighbouring Lapps, related 
to the Finns, still used it ; but the magic word, hitherto 
rude and disordered, received a definite form and became 
the poetic song, giving rise to rich production of myth. 
There thus sprang up a harvest of poetry and myth — not 
found elsewhere in the Ugro-Finnic family except among 
the nearest relations of the Finns, the Esthonians : a. 
poetry which goes hand in hand with a civil development 
superior to that corresponding to primitive shamanism as it 
exists among the Ostyaks, Lapps, Samoyedes, Voguls, etc. 
Magic makes itself felt among the Finns in every 
circumstance of material and intellectual life. For every 
moment, for every action, for every ill, for every good, 
there is the fitting magic song. As is always the case 
among shamanists, the magician is also the medicine-man ; 
to him do men have recourse in every illness ; the very 
, drug can have no efficacy unless he have first looked at it 
(katsotut) or cast a spell on it (hcketut) with his mighty 
words (sanat) ^ ; and the help of those words is confidently 
invoked by the hunter, the fisher, the mariner, the warrior, 
by all who hope or fear, by all who embark on uncertain 
undertakings. From an intellectual standpoint, the idea 
of magic is diffused through the whole atmosphere of 
popular conceptions, from those of poetry and of religious, 
myth to those of knowledge. Tietdjd, which etymologically 
signifies wise or learned, is ordinarily used for magician ; 
laulaja, singer, also means spell-maker, just as laulaa. 
means to sing or to make spells. Vainamoinen unites in 
himself both aspects of the wise man ; he is the powerful 
magician and the singer who moves all nature by the 
beauty of his songs, by the sweet strains of his kantele or 
cithern ; and so it happens, even at the present time, that 
the popular singer adds to his knowledge of epic and other 

^ See Lonnrot, Loitsurutiot, p. xi. 


songs that of magic songs, and combines the characters 
and reputations of magician and of singer. 

The magic rune is not, Hke the magic song in most 
other parts of the world, obscure and strange, composed 
of formulas that hang loosely together and are nearly 
unintelligible or totally so ; it is clear, of purely poetical 
nature, and has the same form, the same poetical charac- 
teristics as any other rune. This can easily be seen in the 
Kalevala, which contains so many magic runes. ^ It is 
lyrical and also narrative ; its intimate nature is to per- 
sonify, and it is therefore the source of myth. It is 
lyrical, accompanying magic rites and operations, during 
which the wizard is so carried out of himself as sometimes 
to swoon. He works himself up with his song, he arouses 
the divine energy within him, boasting of it as he does of 
his power, of his profound, secret knowledge ; or else he 
addresses himself to the object of the spell, praying, up- 
braiding, commanding, terrifying, threatening, chasing, 
exiling ; he speaks to inanimate things — to the wood, the 
sea, the wind, the fire, various sicknesses, the snake, iron, 
just as he would to persons able to hear and feel, to be 
moved or frightened ; or again he turns to the demons or 
gods that rule those things, and are but personifications 
of them, generated by this same poetry : thus he will turn 
to water, or to Ahti or Vellamo, god and goddess of the 
waters ; to the wood, or to Tapio or MieHkki, god and 
goddess of the woods. Nature is thus fantastically popu- 
lated by a multitude of divinities, spirits or demons, that 
stand for her under her multiform aspects. The rule of 
man, not of all men, but of one specially gifted (the sha- 
man), over nature or over the superior beings that direct 

* More than fifty magic runes are introduced into the Kalevala ; too 
many, as more than one critic justly observe. Some are very long, as, 
for instance, the spell for cattle {Karjan lukti), which has above 500 lines 
(rune xxxii., 37-642); but Lonnrot made up this, as he did other magic 
runes in the Kalevala, from more than one magic song. 


her, is the fundamental idea of shamanism. We shall 
;see, in a special study of this subject, how the Finns, 
among whom the magic song attained a greater develop- 
ment than elsewhere, hence excelled other peoples in 
poetical personifications and mythical fantasies. We may 
here observe that a peculiar idea, springing up within this 
poetry, generated therein a fresh form of being : the 
magician is the wise man, the sage, tietdjd ; he knows all 
the demons that hold sway over nature, and the being, 
the origin {synty) of all things ; hence his power, for 
every thing or being loses its ability for evil as soon as 
;some one is found who knows, who proclaims its essence, 
its origin, its genealogy. Thus no runes will heal a wound 
made by an iron instrument until the tietdjd knows and 
recites the one that narrates the origin of iron {raudan 
synty) ; and these origins are of course poetically fantastic 
or mythical. Hence it comes that the magic rune is also 
narrative, and is related to the epic rune, with which it is 
often associated.^ 

The magic runes are a valuable source of knowledge 
about the ancient paganism and myth of the Finns, 
although the names of the numerous divinities of former 
times are now mingled with those of Jesus, Mary, Peter, 
and other saints introduced by the Koman Catholic Church. 
'They reveal the antiquity of this traditional poetry. They 
are not simply a document of popular superstition, but 
part of the national poetry ; an essential, prominent, domi- 
nant part of it. As we shall see further on, the cjoos is 
quite extraordinarily indebted to them, and to the ideas 
which produce and accompany them, for its most inti- 
mate peculiarities. 

Among other peoples we find traditional narrative in 

^ All the best and most important of the narrative magic runes are to 
be found in the Kalevala ; thus, of the origin of fire (xlvii., 67-364), of the 
bear (xlvi., 365-458), of iron (ix., 29-258), of snakes (xxvi., 295-758), of 
^iiseases (xlv., 23-176), etc. 


prose or verse indicated by tenns meaning word, saying :■ 
thus eTTo?, fable, saga, and in Russian slovo (word), skazka 
(short story, from skazati, to say). The Finns, on the 
contrary, do not use the word sana (word, sanoa, to say), 
while they do apply sanat (words) to the magic song, 
thus, Oluen sanat is the magic song used while making 
beer, Kddrmecnhiomoomasanat that for charming snakes, 
etc. And this is certainly the term applied, as among 
other peoples, to the magic formula, even before it had 
become song or laulu. Songs in general may also be 
called words or sanat, but the idea of the epos is non- 
existent, and there is no special name to distinguish the 
epic from the magic song. The latter is sometimes called 
luku, which really means a reading ; not because it is 
read, but because, instead of being sung, like other songs,, 
it is recited after the manner of one who reads. It is^ 
however, in its working and its aim, essentially a word ; 
its efficacy is that of the word. Like the Vedic hymn, it 
must be recited from beginning to end, without change or 
omission ; if one of the words is wanting, changed or for- 
gotten, it cannot produce its effect. Thus in the Kalevala^ 
Viiiniimoinen does not succeed in building the ship by his- 
enchantments, because he does not know three words,, 
and he goes down to hell to seek them. Jealous for their 
secret knowledge, fearing to lose the power it implies, 
the tictdjdt, even when after much resistance they yield 
to persuasion and repeat the magic runes they know to- 
the collectors, yet never communicate them in their 
entirety, sure that by the omission of some part, line or 
word they will render them useless to their hearers. To 
have these runes complete we are therefore obliged to 
compare texts furnished by several wizard singers.^ 

' Lonnrot, Loitsurun., p. iii. The idea is that if the magician com- 
municates the song to one who is not older than himself and at the same 
time leaves out only three words, then he preserves the efficacy of the song. 
for himself, but destroys it for the other. 


This idea, if it had been consistently carried out, would 
Taave stereotyped the songs in their primitive form and 
language ; as was the case with the Vedic hymn, the 
Carmen Saliare, the Carmen Arvale and others, which 
have, with the lapse of time, become difficult to under- 
stand. But among the Finns it has not been so The 
oaste, the priestly sect, are unknown ; the poetry of the 
magic rune is at bottom lay and free, like that of other 
runes ; like them, it suffers change in word and living 
thought as it passes from generation to generation, and 
like them it has numerous variants. It is never archaic ; 
the only thing about it which is essentially antique, less 
near present thought, is the myth, with the fabulous 
names, that do not always present the modern mind with 
any clearly defined conception. The idea that would lead 
to the stereotyping of the runes is in reality only carried 
out in the case of individual action. And even here there 
is no want of liberty ; for another and intensely shamanic 
idea counterbalances it, that, namely, of personal prestige 
and genius. Magic action is conceived as taking its rise 
in a special energy proper to that man who, although 
using a song, words, which are traditional, uses them as 
his own words, clear, therefore, warm and living. Thus 
he is as untrammelled as the popular poet-singer, who 
perennially renews the poetry of tradition, without depriv- 
ing it of its characteristics. 

In a more fitting place we shall undertake to prove 
that the epic rune is an offshoot of the magic rune ; that 
is to say, that the Finnic epos has its roots in magic song. 
It has, however, been already observed by others that the 
magic is the most ancient of all runes ; that the rune was, 
in the beginning, magic.^ This is proved by various facts 

^ " Itaque hsec carmina gentilismo incunabula sua debere, quamvis 
postea varie interpolata et papisticis superstitionibus nugisque locupletata, 
mihi certum videtur. Antiquitate igitur reliquas runas nostras sine dubio 
vincunt ; quae quoad metrum et poeticam rationem, ad ilia ut exemplaria 


and considerations, and especially by the word runo itself^ 
which, although now appHed to various kinds of traditional 
s ong, and, as a hterary term, to poetry (rimous) and poeti- 
cal composition in general, is still used by popular singers 
in its original sense as meaning all songs recited for some 
magic purpose.^ It is a well-known, ancient Teutonic 
word signifying, first of all (Goth., nma), secret thought, 
mystery, word spoken privately, whispered under the 
breath (mod. Ger., raunen).'-^ There is no doubt but that 
when the Finns, in very ancient times, adopted the word, 
they used it in its original sense as expressing the secret, 
murmured, magic word or the magic song, and that they 
were entirely ignorant of its Scandinavian appHcation to 
the mystic, and later the alphabetic sign. Among them, 
as amoug the Scandinavians, the rune was associated 
with the idea of magic action ; with this difference, that 
the Scandinavians, having besides the magic inherent in 
the word, also that inherent in the sign, applied the term 
rune principally to this latter, using other expressions for 
the magic word or song (galdr) ; while the Finns, who 
had no magic signs, as they had no writing, but only the 
magic word or song, applied the word rtme to this. We 
shall treat elsewhere of this interesting word, historically 
important in the study of the origin of Finnic poetry, and 
of the relations of the Finns with neighbouring European 

The rune, being the poetry known to the people from 
ancient times, could alone, when the language became 
literary, furnish a word to express the abstract, generic 
idea of poetry ; the form of the rune, of traditional poetry 
of whatever kind being unvarying, no other term than 

et archetypes deinde conformata esse videntur. Hodie quoque, apud super- 
stitiosos nullse aliee runee cum illis dignitate et prestantia comparandse 
existimantur." Porthan, De poesi fennica {Op. selecta, iii., p. 373). 

^ Cf. Ahlqvist, in Kieletdr, iv., p. 35. 

* To " round in the ear ". Scots. 


this, absolutely incorporated with the form,^ could be used 
to indicate it. In the same way, eVo? among the Greeks 
came to signify that form, that verse, which essentially 
distinguishes epic poems. In Finland, however, since 
there is no difference in form between eVo? and AteXo?, the 
word rune has a wider, more extended apphcation. The 
form it represents, created without doubt originally for 
magic song and then used for all other poetry, bears the 
marks of great antiquity. Several Finnish scholars have 
already studied it, defining its metre and its structure : 
Forth an first, then Eennval, V. Bekker, Europaeus, Lonn- 
rot,^ and, most thoroughly of all, Ahlqvist.^ Of natural, 
spontaneous origin, it is very simple, primitive and easy,, 
and has its roots in the nature, in the phonic and tonic 
laws of the Finnic language. The long and short vowels 
in the latter are so sharply defined that they are dis- 
tinguished even in writing ; there is a fixed law for the 
accent, which falls invariably on the first syllable of every 
word, never on the last, while secondary accents are found 
on uneven syllables, third, fifth, etc. ; and there is besides,, 
as in all other languages of the same family, the well- 
known law of vocalic harmony, which predisposes the ear 

^ For instance we have the expressions telidd runoiksi, to make verses ; 
runonrakennus, metrical structure ; niiwoppi, knowledge of metre ; runon 
mitta, metre ; runon jalka, metric foot, etc. 

2 Porthan, De poesi fennica {Op. seL, iii.) ; Rennval, ForsHk till 
Finsk Prosodie {Mnemosyne, 8, 19) ; V. Bekker, Finsk Grammatik, Abo, 
1824 ; Europaeus, Pieni runoseppa {The little Rune-smith), Helsingf., 1847. 

^ Sitomen kielen rakennus {The Structure of the Finnic Language), 
Helsingf., 1877, p. 119 et seg. See also Genetz, Stwmen kielen dane-ja 
muotooppi ynnd runous-oppi {Phonology and Morphology of the Finnic 
Language and of its Metre), Helsingf., 1882, and Vdhd lisda Kalevalan 
mitta-oppiin {Some Additions to the Metric Laws of the Kalevala). 
in the Suomen ylioppilaskunnan Albuini Elias Lonrottin kunniaksi 
{Album in Honour of Elias Lonnrot, by Students in the Universities of 
Finland), Helsingf., 1882, p. 138 et seq. ; in the same album, p. 141, 
there is an article by E. K. on the development of the national Finnic 
metre {Suomen kansalUs-ruTiomitan kehittimisestd). 


to find pleasure in consonance. The trochee is the foot 
which recurs most frequently, being almost implied in the 
accents of the single words. Each line of the rune consists 
of eight syllables, forming four trochaic feet.^ It is a 
short Hne, evidently not created for poems of great length, 
often appearing in the poetry of other European peoples, 
even in languages of a different class. ^ It is emphasised 
and rendered more pleasing to the ear by certain consou- 
■ances, alliteration (alkusointu) and rhyme (loppusointu) . 
The first and most stable law is that of alHteration, ac- 
cording to which each line must contain at least two 
words beginning with the same letter whether consonant 
or vowel. Alliterative consonants must generally be fol- 
lowed by the same vowels ; but alliterative vowels need 
not necessarily be the same ; it is quite sufficient that 
they should be in some way related.^ There is, however, 

1 Some have thought, with Rennval, that the line of the rune was 
founded on accent, but most have defined it as a prosodic line. Ahlqvist 
{Siumien kielen rakennus, p. 136) has drawn attention to the fact that the 
ccBsura always divides the word in such a manner that the accent of the 
word yields to that of the metre — in other words, that the arsis falls on an 
unaccented syllable ; while, on the other hand, the syllable that bears 
the principal accent is often found in an unaccented part of the line. 

2 Thus, for example, in St. Augustine's well-known popular rhythmic 
poem {Vid. Du Meril, Po^s. pop. lat, p. 120 et seq.) : — 

Abundantia peccatorum 

Solet fratres conturbare 
is the same as the metre of the runes : — 

Veli kulta veikkoseni 
Kaunis kasvin kumpallini. 

3 As an example 

Taka vanha, Fainamoinen 
Otti ruskean orihin, 
Pani vam&n 2;aljahisin, 
iiwskean rc'enetehen. 

Oi Ukko yVmenen luoja, 
Taivahallinen Jumala, 
Tule ^anne ^arvittaessa, 
K&j tanne /cutsuttaessa. 

-Kal., X., 1 et scq. 

— Kal., ix., 103 et scq. 


freedom in the use of alliteration, and the laulaja does not 
feel much disturbed if a line occurs without any. Ehyme 
also is of frequent occurrence, not only between the lines, 
but in the lines themselves. It is used, however, with 
much freedom, and is never obhgatory : sometimes it does 
not occur for many lines, sometimes the rhymes are near 
together, sometimes far apart, sometimes the same rhyme 
is repeated through a long series of lines, so that one is 
reminded of the well-known tirades of ancient French 
poems. Rhyme, or some sort of similarity of sound at 
the end of the lines, is rendered frequent by the great 
abundance of grammatical forms in this very synthetic 
language ; for the rhymes are for the most part sub- 
stantive or verbal endings : for example {Kal., xli., 219 
■et seq.) : — 

Onko tassa nuorisossa, 
Nuorisossa kaunisessa, 
Tassa suuressa su'ussa 
Isossa isan alassa, etc.,^ 

where we find the similar endings of nine locatives. Such 
rhyme of substantive or verbal endings is rendered almost 
necessary by another characteristic law of the rune, that 
of repetition or parallelism {nmon kerto), which may be 
formulated as follows : " Every line must contain a com- 
plete idea, or a part complete in itself of a greater idea, 
and this must be repeated in different words in the suc- 
ceeding line ". An example is given by the lines quoted 
above, where it is evident that to this law alone are due 
the final consonances. There are many varieties of 
paralleHsm, of which we need not speak here, but it is to 
be observed that repetitions of the kind often occur in 
more than two lines, and, especially in magic songs, may 
be continued for a great number of lines. Sometimes 
parallelism is absent, and there are even lines whose sense 

^ Literally : " There is among these youths, (among these) beautiful 
youths, in this great race, (in this) renowned ancestral descent," etc. 


is completed in that which follows ; repetition, however, 
is extremely frequent, not only from line to hne, but also 
in the same line, and with it rhyme, perfect or imperfect, 
but generally perfect. 

The laulaja is bound to use alliteration, rhyme and 
paralleHsm, but he reserves to himself full liberty as to the 
mode of employing them, so that he can improvise with- 
out being unduly hampered. Neither is he bound with 
regard to the length of his periods, for he is wholly ignor- 
ant of division by verses. One necessity there is, how- 
ever, to which the laulaja must bow : the invariable, in- 
violable metre, to which, it is true, the melodic motif, the 
rhythm with which he recites or sings, naturally binds 
him ; but it is a short, easy, elementary metre, springing 
so spontaneously from the intimate nature of the language 
as to be easily improvised. The song may be lyric, epic 
or magic ; it may be a love song, a wedding song, a narra- 
tive song with heroic or romantic argument ; a song of 
exorcism, a song of origins : but of whatever kind it be, 
the metre, the laws of its composition, are always such as 
we have described. It is obvious that these laws must 
influence not only the material form, but also the very 
substance and ideas of the poetry they govern. The 
division between line and hne consequent on the complete 
idea, or complete part of an idea which each one offers, so 
that each printed line has at least a comma at the end of 
it, establishes a rhythmic division in the ideas themselves, 
in their order and succession, and this division is felt in 
direct proportion to the shortness of the lines ; while 
paralleHsm, with its ever-varying repetitions, colours, 
heightens, multiplies poetic expression, generates emphasis 
and warmth. Hence that homogeneity of tone and style 
which, in addition to identity of metre, permits the weaving 
of every kind of song, whether epic or lyric. The great 
rapidity of the foot and of the metre renders it impossible 
that the epos should be distinguished by calm solemnity 


of tone ; while the sameness of the verse, the smallness of 
resource afforded by the paralleHsm that governs it, quite 
prevent the attainment of lyric warmth, movement and 
impetus. The rune thus places epos and melos on the 
same level ; but the dominating note, if there be one, is 
lyric, as is that of the magic or primitive rune. 

The rune form characterises this people's poetry, unifies 
it and proves it to have existed as tradition from ancient 
times. It IS curious that while it has the fixedness and 
stability of a thing that is mature, it has also characteristics 
that are proper to a poetry still in its infancy : it uses ele- 
mentary means that the rest of Europe forgot long ago ; 
those means that many peoples have used to distinguish 
noble, elevated, poetic thoughts from ordinary language,, 
even before versification, properly so called, arose. Such 
is, above all, parallehsm of which every one will remem- 
ber an example in ancient Hebrew poetry ; such also is 
the search after the harmony and repetition of sounds 
whether in the first, in the last or in several of the last 
syllables of the words : alliterations and rhymes or as- 
sonances. These were already in use in poetical prose 
before verse began, and were also used in verse by 
peoples among whom poetical forms have never reached 
any high degree of development or perfection; as, for 
example, the Altai Tatars and the Western Kirghis, the 
Kara Kirghis, the Uigurians and other peoples having 
affinities with the Finno-Ugrian stock, among whom 
poetical forms, as Badloff observes,^ developed naturally 
and spontaneously, in accordance with the laws of their 
language, vdthout any outside influences from nations 
that had already a literature. It is unnecessary to draw 
attention here to the prevalence of alliteration in Europe 

^ Ueher die Formen cler gebund. Rede bei d. altaischen Tataren, 
in the Zeitschr. f. Volkerpsychol. , iv., p. 85. With regard to less original 
forms and Persian influence among the Kirghis, vid. id. , Proben d. Volk- 
slitt. d. tUrkischen Stdmnie Siid-Siberiens., iii., p. xxii. et seq. 


among Celtic and especially among Teutonic peoples; 
and of the use, even in barbaric times, of conso- 
nances at the endings of words, or of rhymes, both in 
vulgar tongues and in the but half-dead classical lan- 
guages. But when poetry is in a primitive condition and 
makes abundant use of parallelism, and of consonances 
and assonances of every kind, then the metrical verse, if it 
exists, is apt to be roughly indicated, unequal or variable 
in length and in the number of its syllables — as it 
was in ancient Germanic poetry. As soon, however, 
as metre makes good its claims, as soon as number 
imposes rhythmical rules not so much on the quality as 
on the quantity of the sounds, then the verse assumes 
various forms ; and the law that governs the quality and 
recurrence of sounds is either limited or lost in proportion 
as that of number becomes more complicated or rigorous. 
This is seen in ancient classical languages. The use 
of aUiteration, so prevalent in barbaric poetry, entirely 
vanished when rigorous metrical forms prevailed. Khyme 
remained, but no longer free, as it is in primitive poetry 
and as it is among the Finns ; linked rather with the 
most complex laws of metre, especially with those that 
rule the grouping into verses ; obedient, that is to say, to 
a law of symmetry as regards distribution, position and 
combination. In the Finnic rune, on the contrary, the 
metre is not rudely indicated, but perfectly and severely 
defined, regulated by an invariable law ; and this should 
be a characteristic of maturity. But at the same time 
this rune only knows one kind of metre, has not yet 
arrived at the stage of producing various forms, as it has 
not yet learned to group the lines into stanzas, and has 
not advanced beyond the use of such primitive, even 
archaic means as alliteration, free rhymes, parallelism. 

A study of the poetry of the other Finno-Ugrian 
peoples simply leads us to a clearer recognition of the 
uniqueness of the rune. Nothing similar is found in the 


literature of any one of them, except, indeed, in that ot 
the Esthonians, who are almost one with the Finns. 
Some songs bearing a resemblance to the rune form may 
be found occasionally among the Lapps, as well as among 
the Mordviiiians, who, after the Lapps, are most nearly 
related to the Finns ; ^ except, however, where such runes are 
due to Finnic influence, as among the Lapps, they repre- 
sent simply one of the many forms which a poetry still 
rude and uncertain may take on : theirs is not the only 
form ; it is not determined, not stable; it has not the decided 
impress of an organ of secular, traditional use. Neither 
can any different result be obtained from a study of the 
poetry of peoples of a different stock, of those who, 
being nearest to the Finns, exercised the greatest influence 
over them : the Teutonic peoples, that is, especially the 
Scandinavians ; and the Lithu- Slavs and Slavs, especially 
the Lithuanians and the Eussians. The Lithuanians 
have no trace of an epic poem ; the lyric abounds among 
them, but the varying form of their Dainos has nothing in 
common with the Finnic rune. 

Like the Finns, the Russians have an important and 
characteristic traditional poetry, the most ancient amongst 
the Slav peoples; but the Eussian hylin in no way re- 

^In addition to the Mordvinian songs given by Ahlqvist in his 
Versuch einer Mokscha-Mordwinischen Grammatik (St. Petersburg, 1864), 
vid. p. 129 et seq. of the same author's Einige Proben mordwiriischer 
Volksdichtung, in the Journal de la Societe Finno-Ougrienne, viii. (1890), 
p. 23 et seq. In the same volume, p. 135, H. Paasonen communicates an 
Erza-Mordvinian song which recalls the rune form. Ahlqvist observes 
(p. 26) ; "Was die Form betrifft steht die Erza-mordwinische Volkspoesie 
bedeutend hoher als die ostjakischen, syrianischen, v^otjakischen und 
anderen ost-finnischen Lieder-proben, die zu meiner Kenntniss gelangt 
sind; in mehreren dieser Lieder wird ein bestimmtes Metrum angetroffen; 
gewohnlich besteht die Verszeile aus drei und ein halb Trochaen ". But 
this metre is only found in some songs ; in a fev^ we have four trochees as 
in the rune, in others the metre is variable and unstable ; final and other 
rhymes are used, but not alliteration ; vid. also the Mordvinian songs in the 
posthumous work of Mainoff, Les restes de la ynythologie mordvine, in 
the Journal de la SocUte Finno-Ougrienne, v. (1889). 


sembles the Finnic rune : it differs from it profoundly in 
form, not only with regard to the quality and length of 
its line, but also because the metre ^ is variable, and there 
is neither alhteration, rhyme nor parallehsm. In one 
only fact, and that a negative one, does the hylin re- 
semble the rune : in the absence, that is, of all division 
into verses, there being nothing more than the usual 
division into lines, each complete in itself. Although it 
is epic, traditional, thoroughly popular, although its birth- 
place is near that of the rune (Onega, Olonetz, Archangel), 
the hylin is yet very different, in the freedom and youth- 
fulness of its form, from the rigidity of its more venerable 
neighbour. As to the Scandinavians, the rune not only 
bears the impress of being more ancient than their exist- 
ing popular poetry, but is entirely dissimilar from the 
ancient Eddie poems, notwithstanding the fact that these 
are alliterative. The characteristics of the ancient Scan- 
dinavian and Germanic versification, moreover, are not to 
be found in that, less free, of the rune ; just as this latter, 
long as it has lived, neither reflects the variety of forms 
reached by the Scandinavians and Teutons in the most 
ancient period, when all their poetry was alliterative, nor 
has adopted their ancient and general use of verses. 

How the Finnic rune arose, under what conditions 
and influences, we shall see when we come to study the 
origins and formation of the myth and the poetical 
creations of this people. Hitherto we have confined our- 

^ Regarding the metre of the byliny, vid. Hilferding, Oniezskija 
byliny, p, xxxiii. et seq. The author defines it and describes its varieties 
with much clearness and concision. One characteristic of this metre is 
its extendibility {rastjaiiinost) ; another is the free way in which it is used 
by singers or narrators (skaziteli), so that Hilferding distinguishes those 
who in every bijlin keep rigidly to a regular metre, those who adopt a 
metre which is not always regular, and those who take no thought of 
metre. I shall not mention the ancient Slotio o polkti Igorevie, whose 
metrical form, if indeed such exists, is very uncertain, and has been much 
discussed ; nor the consonances which some have thought to find in it : 
vid. Barsov, Slovo o polku Igorevie, Moscow, 1887, i., p. 168 et seq. 


selves to an exposition and clear definition of facts : 
we have shown what the rune is in its substance and its 
form, proving that it is essentially and exclusively Finnic, 
not Germanic, not Slav, not even Finno-Ugrian, but alto- 
gether proper to the Finns in the strictest sense of the 
term, to the Suomalaiset, as they call themselves, and to 
their brothers the Esthonians or Virolaiset. An analysis 
of the vocabulary used, especially of that relating to 
culture, has revealed the profound and ancient influence 
exercised on these peoples by the Germanic races (be- 
ginning with the Goths), by the Lithuanians, and more 
recently by the Eussians. On the poetry, the Germanic 
peoples have had the greatest influence, as a study of the 
myth, and especially of its nomenclature, clearly shows ; 
but this influence is manifest in the ideas, in the names, 
not in the poetic form. The fact that such an in- 
fluence had really made itself felt, and that the very 
word rmia is of German origin, gave rise to the idea 
that the only element common to Germanic and Finnic 
poetry — alliteration — must have come to the Finns 
from the Scandinavians. But Ahlqvist, who main- 
tained this idea,^ was contradicted; and justly so. 
The alliteration of the Finns differs widely from that of 
the Teutons both in nature and in its position in the 
verse ; but besides this it is evident that any borrowing 
would imply a more intimate contact between the poetry 
of the two races than we have any indication of ; a 
contact which would render it difficult to understand 
how nothing but the alliteration should be borrowed. 
The taste for this kind of consonance, too, is found 
among peoples to whom the Germanic influence never 
penetrated : among some of the Ugro-Finns (the Voguls, 

^ Arveluja alkusoinnun altaisesta alkuperdisuudesta {Reflections on 
the Altaic Origin of Alliteration), against Humfalvy, in the Kieletdr, iv., p. 
33 et seq.; letter of Humfalvy in reply, ib., v., p, 27 et seq., and Ahlqvist's 
reply, ib., vi., p. 1 et seq. 


for example), and the Altaic races. Neither should 
we forget the very small success which alliteration met 
with among the Latin and Slavonic peoples, notwith- 
standing the close contact of these latter with the 
Teutons, and notwithstanding the triumph throughout 
the whole of mediaeval Europe of the other kind of con- 
sonance, rhyme. It should also be observed that the taste 
for alliteration would be almost certain to arise spontane- 
ously among those who speak such a language as the 
Finnic, which, in accordance with an invariable law, 
accents the first syllable of every word. But at whatever 
conclusion we may arrive on this subject, we should not, 
on the other hand, dream that all Ugro-Finnic^ poetry 
sprang from a common root, already existing before the 
various members of the family branched off, and still dimly 
traceable among them, for instance in the rune of our 
Finns. The theory is too vast to be applied to these peoples, 
most of whom are quite primitive, with a poetry, when it 
exists, entirely rudimentary ; and the mere fact, so natural 
and elementary, of finding among some of them a taste for 
consonances and parallehsm, that is for repetitions of sound 
and idea, cannot be considered as any indication of a tradi- 
tion deriving from the Ugro-Finnic root-stock. All 
poetry that is natural and spontaneous, fixed in form and 
characteristics, is the product and property not of a race 
or family of peoples and languages, but of one national 
individuality, of one language. We should be acting in op- 
position to every sound scientific principle were we to seek 
in a common primitive poetry or art the springs of Greek 
art and poetry : were we to expect to find similar artistic 
facts and productions presented by peoples of the same 
family or even of the same group. In other subjects, in the 
case of myths for instance, a comparative search among 
kindred peoples and languages proves fruitful of results. It 

^ Humfalvy in Kieletar, i., p. 5 et seq. ; Donner, Lieder der Lappen^ 
p. 87 et seq. 


gives us the first reason of the Finnic Jumala and of the 
Greek Zeus ; but between the original idea expressed by the 
Aryan div and the ideal type of the Greek Zeus, there is a 
poetic elaboration, a genius of creation which is purely 
Greek. Now, the Ugro- Finns are bound together not only 
by the affinities, close or distant, of their languages, but by 
the fact that all actually are, or have hardly ceased to be 
shamanists ; but the shamanic or magic word took on no 
stable poetic form, did not become a rune or a stable poetic 
type even without magic intention, except among those 
of their race who inhabit the north of Europe. Not only 
was this form not reached by the distant Ugrians (Ostyaks, 
Voguls, Magyars) and the Finno- Tartars (Chuvashes), 
but it was not attained even by the Permian group 
(Siryanians, Votyaks), nor by the Volga group (Cheremis- 
sians and Mordvinians), which are much nearer the Finns. 
The group that we have called Northern, now formed 
principally of the Lapps, Finns, Esthonians,^ is bound 
together not only by close affinity of language, by geogra- 
phical position, by contact between the peoples, but also 
by a common influence of neighbouring Aryan nations. 
True, it is no longer believed, as it was not very long ago, 
that these people inhabited Europe in remote or prehis- 
toric times, before the coming of the Aryans ; it is thought, 
on the contrary, that they entered it long after the Aryans 
were settled there ; but the antiquity of their contact with 
the European Aryans is shown by the very ancient char- 
acter of the German words (northern Gothic 2) found 

^ To the same group belong the Krevins, now extinct, the Livonians, 
of whom few now remain, as is also the case with the Vepses and Votes. 
Faint echoes of the rune are found among the Livonians (Sjogren, Gesamm. 
Schr. ii., 1, p. 365 et seq.) ; and among the Votes (Vatjalaiset) ; vid. Ahl- 
qvist, Vatisk Grammatik, in Acta Societ. scient. Fenn., v., 1856; Bul- 
letin de la classe hist. etc. de V Acad^mie de St. PUershotirg, xiii., 1856, 
p. 353 et seq. ; and Siiomalainen murteiskirja {Book of Finnic Dialects), 
Helsingf., 1869, p. 157 et seq. 

2 Thomsen, Ueber den Einfluss der germanischen Sprachen auf die Fin- 
nisch-Lajppischen, Halle, 1870. 


among them, as well as by that of Lithu-Slavonic ex- 

Anthropologists have shown that the Lapps, although 
speaking a language closely akin to the Finnic, are people 
of another race (Finno-Mongolic). It is certain that they 
originally spoke another tongue, but how or when they 
became Finns in language it is not possible to determine : 
the very name of Finns or Fenni was in ancient times 
applied, first by the Latins and then by the Scandinavians, 
rather to them than to the people that now bear the name, 
who were often confounded with them ; and they them- 
selves enhance the confusion by calling themselves Sabme, 
which is the Finnic Suomi. Notwithstanding all this, 
they are two diverse peoples, by no means friendly with 
each other ; at any rate since the time when the Finns, 
becoming civilised, began to despise the Lapps as savages. 
The latter, whose boundaries once extended farther south 
(although some people think this was not the case), 
were driven back towards the north by the F'inns, an 
incident which has been supposed, erroneously as we shall 
see, to be described in the Kalevala. The Lapps were till 
quite recently shamanists, like the Esquimaux and Sa- 
moyedes ; a fact confirmed by the great fame which they 
enjoyed in ancient times as magicians among the Scan- 
dinavians. In spite of this, and in spite of the frequent 
mention made of them as magicians in the Kalevala and 
in the magic rune, they have no magic songs properly so 
called, like those of the Finns ; although the luord was 
used'^ with a magic purpose by their Noaids or shamans, 

^ 0. Donner has already given a list of Lithuanian words that have 
been absorbed into Finnic. Thomson has published another important 
work, Berliringer mcllem de finske og de baltiske {littauisk-lettiske) Sivrog, 
which shows the antiquity of this influence. 

'^ Spoken in a sing-song manner, which they call singing (joige) ; an 
example of this singing, with which they accompanied the roll of the 
magic drum, may be seen in Scheffer, Lappcniia, p. 138 et seq. ; and more 
fully in Setalii, Lappisclie Lieder aus d. xvii. Jahrh. (in the Jourtml de 


wlio were accustomed to employ for this end a special 
language, or at any rate the Lapp word in a special sense. ^ 
'They are not entirely without poetry, but it is a poetry as 
rudimentary as their society ; it has not even reached a 
decided verse form ; it knows only a metre that is scarcely 
even metre, oscillating and variable, a kind of rhythmic prose. 
Poor in poetry, they are also poor in myth, especially as 
compared with the Finns ; prose stories and narratives 
are more abundant than poetry.^ It is true, however, that 
we know some few epic (mythic) Lapp songs not entirely 
devoid of merit. In the chief of these (there are three 
or four of them), which relates the deeds of the Child of 
the Sun (Paiven Parneh), the form of the Finnic rune is 
clearly recognisable, with its metre, alliteration, parallel- 
ism ; slightly corrupt, but less so than in other songs, 
where the metre is treated with the strangest licence. It 
is beyond a doubt that in those few songs that display this 
form the Lapps have simply imitated the Finns, with 
whom they are in close contact in the places where these 
songs were collected.^ The word runo is, however, un- 

■ la Societe Finno-Ougrienne, viii,, 1890, p. 121 et seq.}. On the Lapp song, 
which is the reverse of pleasing or melodious, whatever others may say 
about it, vid. Sommier in the Archivio 2>er V Antropologia e VEtnologia, 
xvi., 1866, p. 164: et seq. 

^ Friis, Lappish Mythologi, p. 6 ; in the same way the angakok of the 
Esquimaux {vid. Friis, oj). cit., p. 14 et seq.) ; on the magic song of the 
Samoyedes, formless and improvised by their shamans or Tadibe, vid. 
Castren, Nordiska Resor o. Forskn., i., p. 202 et seq. 

2 Friis, Lappiske Eventyr og Folkesagn, Christiania, 1871 ; Poestion, 
Lapplandische Mdrchen, Volkssagen, Rdthseln u. Sprichicorter, Wien, 1886 ; 
'Qvigstad og Sandberg, Lappisk Eventyr og Folkesagn, Christiania, 1887. 

^ Cf. Donner, Lieder der happen, p. 37, in which, however, the author 
discusses a primitive poetry of the Ugro-Finns, and finds connections in 
form between Lapp, Syrianian, Mordvinian and Finnic songs, a theory in 
which, as above stated, we cannot follow him. We may observe that 
those Syrianian songs which he believes original are, like so many others, 
•of Russian origin. One of these, for example (p. 29 et seq.) the song to 
the willow, is nothing but the well-known Ivuschka, ivuschka, zelennaia 
nioia, which is to be found in more than one Russian Piesennik. 


known to them, although they have the verb of German 
origin rudiiat, to murmur {nidna, sermo, rumor), v^hich the 
Finns do not possess. 

Whether on account of the difference of race, or by- 
reason of unfavourable climatic conditions, or from some 
other cause, the Lapps, unhke the Finns, have remained 
refractory or indifferent to the civilisation which for cen- 
turies past has been gradually surrounding them ; and 
this in spite of that close intercourse which introduced 
many Germanic words into their language. While the 
Finns early began to engage in agriculture and to advance 
towards civilisation, to modify their primitive shamanism 
and to approach the pagan idea existing among the neigh- 
bouring European peoples, the Lapps long preserved that 
rude and primitive shamanism, proper only to a people 
still far back on the road to civiHsation, which Christi- 
anity had much difficulty in eradicating. There is no 
wonder, then, that they have not yielded what the Finns, 
have, and have not even, profiting by their intercourse and 
affinities with these latter, continued the style of poetry 
adopted by them. Not so the Esthonians. Closely 
connected with the Finns in language and in other ways, 
we seem to see the time in which the two formed but 
one people south of Lakes Ladoga and Onega; so that 
the dialects of Esthonia resemble those of Finland in 
direct proportion to their antiquity.^ The same relation- 
ship may be observed in the poetry common to both 
peoples. The Esthonians are rich in traditional songs,. 
epic, magic and lyric, having the rune form, although 
the word runa is unknown ; and there is also a poem 
put forward as the Kalevala of the Esthonians, the 
Kalevipoeg (the son of Kalev), which Kreutzwald, follow- 
ing Lonnrot's example, constructed and pubhshed in 

' Vid. Weske, Bericht ilber die Ergehnisse einer Reise durch das Ehst- 
land im Sonimer 1875, p. 50 {^Verlmndlgn. d. gel. ehstn. Gesellsch., viii.,. 
No. 4). 


1857-9.^ But it is a far cry from Kreutzwald to Lonnrot : 
the delicacy which characterised the latter is not to be found 
in the former, and the success of the Kalevipoeg, small even 
among the Esthonians themselves, cannot be compared 
with that of the Kalevala. The liberty which Kreutzwald 
allowed himself in the composition of the poem (he even 
went so far as to versify prose stories and sagas),- and the 
ugly fact that he burned his manuscripts, discredited the 
Kalevipoeg as a national product in the sense in which the 
Kalevala can be called so, and render the student distrust- 
ful even of those numerous parts which are really of 
popular origin. Here also, and even more than in the 
Kalevala, it is clear that there is not, and never has been, 
any great traditional epos ; and although a popular 
Esthonian singer may say that his song forms part of 
an ancient, very long song {vana, vdga pikka laulusSnad) ,^ 
he does not at all refer to a great poem, but to the unity 
of the subject or even of the hero in many songs relating 
to the Son of Kalev. Independently, however, of the 
childish desire of possessing or of discovering an ancient 
poem, Kreutzwald himself,'^ Weske,^ Neus,^ Hurt," and 

1 Kalewipoeg, eine estnische Sage, verdeutscht vcm Karl Bheinthal, 
Dorpat, 1857-61. The poem has twenty cantos, much longer than those 
of the Kalevala. The text with Rheinthal's translation (finished by Ber- 
tram) was published in the Verhaiullgn. d. gel. estn. Gesellsch. zu Dorpat, 
iv., V. ; there is no other edition. Cf. Schiefner u. Wiedemann, Bericht 
ilber KreutzwaW s Kalewipoeg, in Bulletin de V Academic de St. P4ters- 
bourg, ii. (1860), p. 273 et seq. ; Schiefner, Ueber die estnische Sage von 
Kalewipoeg, in Melanges russes, iv., p, 126 et seq. ; Schott, Die estnische 
Sage von Kaleioipoeg, in Abhandlgn. d. Ak. de Wiss. zu Berlin, 1862. 

2 The places where this has been done are marked in the poem, 

3 Blumberg, Quellen mid Realien des Kaleioipoeg nebst Varianten und 
Ergdnzungen, Dorpat, 1869 {Verhandlgn. d. gel. est. Gesellsch., v., p. 16). 

* Eesti rahvalaulud, Tartus (Esthonian Popidar Songs, Dorpat), 1879. 

^ Mythische und magische Lieder der Ehsten gesammelt u. herausg. v. 
Fr. Kreutzioald u. H. Neus, St. Petersburg, 1854. 

6 Ehstnische Volkslieder, Urschrift u. Uebersetzung v. H. Neus, Reval, 

'■ Vana Kannel, tdielline kogu vanu eesti rahvalauluzid vcilja annud 
Dr. Jakob Hurt (The Ancient Lyre, Complete Collection of Ancient 


other learned Esthonians collected and published a. 
great number of native epic, magic and lyric songs of 
various kinds,^ which clearly prove the close connection 
of Esthonian with Finnic poetry. 

It is certain that, on examining the songs and the 
prose traditions concerning the son of Kalev, we find that 
they are in general very different from those of the Kale- 
vala, as regards the characteristics of their heroes, the 
nature of their action, the style of their ideals, and their 
poetic character. The son of Kalev, massively gigantic, 
has really very little in common with such types as 
Viiinamoinen, Ilmarinen, Lemminkainen ; he approaches 
more nearly to certain types in the Russian byliny, 
Sviatogor for example. The Finnic songs present the 
Kalevan poika (son of Kaleva) or Kullervo as a hero of 
strength, it is true, but of much milder and gentler pro- 
portions. Like Kullervo himself, however, as seen in the 
Kalevala, so the Esthonian Kalevipoeg compared with the 
Kalevala appears (as far as poetry goes) a secondary forma- 
tion of diminished import and with an excess of fantastic 
elements.^ On the other hand, there are numerous points 
of contact with the epic lays of the Finns that treat of the 

Esthonian Songs Puhlished by, etc.), Dorpat, 1886. Only one part of 
these songs (which are almost all lyric) is accompanied by a German 

^ Principally in the Verhandlgen. n. Sitzungsherichte d. gel. estn. 
Oesellsch. z. Dorpat, Rosenplanter's Beitrage z. genauer Kcnntn. d. estn. 
Spr. (Pernau, 1813-32), in the " Inland " and in other collections. As 
regards bibliography, vid. Bibliotheca Livonice historica, by E. Winckel- 
mann (2 Ausg., Berlin, 1878), and also Ahlqvist's temperate work, Wiron 
nykyisemrndstd Kirjallisuudesta {On Recent Esthonian Literature), in 
Suonii, 1856, p. 1 et seq. 

' This refers to the poetry, to the application of the rune to this sub- 
ject ; as regards the myth the thing is different. The type of Kalevipoeg 
is nearer than Kullervo to the naturalistic sense of Kaleva; and in spite 
of the title of Kalevala which Lonnrot has given to his poem, the name of 
Kaleva in the poem itself and in Finnic tradition generally is far from 
holding the place which it does in the Esthonian traditions. See what 
is said about Kaleva in the chapter on the heroic myth. 


son of Kalev or other subjects ; and the songs of the Finns, 
turned (as they easily are) into Esthonian, are found to be 
abundant in Esthonia; so that the collectors of Finnic 
variants have to take account not only of those obtaining 
in different parts of Finland, but also of such as exist 
in Esthonia.^ There were not v^anting reciprocal influ- 
ences betv^een the poetry of the tw^o peoples, but it is 
quite clear that the fatherland of the runes, their centre 
of radiation, is the country of the Finns. Although it 
may almost be said to have a common origin, still the 
Esthonian traditional poetry, as we see it and know it 
now, holds a secondary, dependent place with regard to 
that of the Finns. It is similar to this latter in its 
ancient religious idea and in its evolution of shamanism. 
The myth, except for some variation of names,^ has the 
same characteristics ; but the remainder is poorer, not 
only because the position and history of the Esthonians 
caused their tradition to be more easily weakened and 
overcome, but also because the poetry which among the 
Finns developed and enriched the myth was native and 
original to Finland and was not spontaneous in Esthonia. 
Although, as we have said, the word runo does not now 
exist in Esthonia, yet the form of the traditional poetry 
there is identical with the Finnic rune, and, as among 
the Finns, is found also in songs of modern origin and 
in those which are imitations. But it is also observable 
that that form did not originate in and for this language. 
The verse of the Esthonian songs is constructed with less- 
rigid obedience to its laws than that of the Finns : 

^ As regards the elements of the Kalevala in Esthonia, vid. Krohn, 
Suomal. Eirjallis. hist., i., pp. 167-186 [Kalevalan runot Vironmaalla). 

2 In addition to the notices contained in the above-mentioned books, 
of Kreutzwald, Neus and Blumberg, see Boeder's old book (seventeenth 
century) Der einfdltigen Ehsten abergldubische Gebratiche, Weisen u. 
Oewohmheiten, in Kreutzv^ald's reprint (St. Petersburg and Leipzig, 1854) ; 
Wiedemann, Aus dem inneren and ausseren Leben der Ehster, St. Peters- 
burg, 1876. 


a dactyl often slips in among the trochees ; and above 
all the mould is often surprisingly broken, especially in 
the magic songs. As to magic, the tark (wise man, 
magician, pi. targad) of the Esthonians corresponds to the 
tietdja or loitsija of the Finns ; and the magic song, which 
tis in Finnic is the word, expression (sona, lauz ; in Finnic, 
Sana, laiise) that is read or recited (higema, in Finnic lukea), 
is so completely identified with that of the Finns as to be 
almost one with it. But the richness and variety of the 
Finnic magic rune, especially in the part that treats of 
the origins, is not to be found in Esthonia ; the ideal and 
fantastic world of the Finnic magicians with Pohjola, the 
Lapps, etc., is not here completely reproduced ; and there 
is not the same connection between the magic and the 
heroic action. The lofty Finnic types Vainiimoinen and 
Ilmarinen are found in Esthonian poetry only as faint 
echoes of far-off utterances (Vanemuine, Ilmarine). In 
addition to this it has come much more than Finnic poetry 
under the influence of the magic formulas of other peoples, 
•especially of the Teutons. 

When we say that the centre of radiation for the runes 
is among the Finns or Suomolaiset, we must make a dis- 
tinction which (perhaps by a mere coincidence) corre- 
sponds to that made by anthropologists ; who tell us ^ that 
the F'inns of Carelia differ in type from those of Tavast 
(Finn., Hdmd), or as they are called Hdmdldiset. Moreover, 
although the language is one, there is still a difference of 
dialect between Carelian and Tavastian. The literary lan- 
guage of Finland is at present based on the speech of the 
Tavastian s, and that of Carelia appears as a dialect. Now, 
runes are no longer in existence among all the Finns, but 
are concentrated in Carelia, and especially Kussian Carelia 
(Veniijan Karjala), which is in Eussia, outside the Grand- 
duchy of Finland. The place richest in runes is the 

^ V. Retzius, Finska Kranier, p. 164 et seq. ; De Quatrefages, Homines 
Jossiles et Jwimnes sauvages (Paris, 1884), p. 619 ct seq. 


parish {jpitdjct) of Vuokkiniemi in the government of 
Archangel (Finn., Vienan Idani, or district of the Dvina) ; and 
next come other parishes lying to the east and to the north. 
Well-preserved runes are also found farther to the south 
at Repola and Himola in the government of Olonetz 
(Finn., Annus) ] across the frontier, in Finnic Careha, at 
Ilomants, Suojiirvi Suistamo, Impilaks, Sortavala ; and 
also, but these are defective, along the w^estern bank of 
Lake Ladoga and in Ingria or Ingermanland (Finn., hikeri). 
Outside this zone some have been found in adjoining dis- 
tricts, as the north of Eastern Bothnia (Finn., Pohjanmaa), 
the region of Kajana, the sea-coast of the Province of 
Uleaborg, and to the west in Savolaks. This applies 
principally to the epic and in part also to the magic 
runes ; the latter, however, are not found in Ingria, while 
in the southern villages of Uleaborg they are corrupt and 
fragmentary. A greater variety, though for us less im- 
portant, may be noted in the places where lyric runes 
abound ; but among these there are many that are modern 
or at least less ancient. To recapitulate, there is a region 
which may be called the region of the runes : it has its 
principal centre in Eussian and Finnic Carelia; on the 
north it stretches from Northern Finnic CareHa through 
•Cajana as far as the Province of Uleaborg ; on the south it 
stretches west of Lake Ladoga, turns round through Ingria, 
and reaches as far as Esthonia ; but outside Carelia the 
form of the runes is inferior, they are less complete, and 
are fewer in number. In one region runes of every kind are 
entirely, or almost entirely, wanting : ^ in Western Finland, 
namely; chiefly in so-called Finland proper (Varsinainen 
Stiomi) wheie is the ancient capital Abo, in Nyland ( Uusimaa) 
where is the present capital Helsingfors (Helsmki), and also 
in Tavast, Satakunta, and the south of Eastern Bothnia. 

1 For further particulars vid. Lonnrot's preface to the second edition of 
the Kalevala, § 3, to the Kanteletar and to the Loitsurunot ; and Krohn's 
additions, Suom. Kirjallis. hist., i., pp. 119 et seq., 140, 148. 



We should of course take into consideration the in- 
fluence that Sweden and her culture must have exerted 
over a certain distance round the capital Abo, and other 
cities founded by her after her conquest ; and we must 
not forget that Lutheranism, by obliging every one to 
know how to read, caused much of the ancient pagan 
tradition to be forgotten ; whereas this did not happen in 
countries under the Kussian Church, into which culture 
penetrated less or not at all. But this does not explain 
everything ; and for this reason, and because the runes 
are more abundant and better preserved in Carelia, whether 
Russian Church or Lutheran, than elsewhere, Lonnrot,^ 
and with him Ahlqvist^ and others, consider Careha,, 
especially Russian Carelia, as the fatherland of the rune, 
and think that it spread thence to the other places 
where it is now found. The cradle of the rune is to be 
found, they think, on the Dvina, as the name of their 
principal hero Vainamoinen (Vaina, Dvina) indicates ; 
where flourished in old times those Biarms, in reality 
nothing but Carelians, of whom from the ninth to the 
twelfth centuries Scandinavian tales and sagas and Rus- 
sian chronicles continually make mention. This Carelism 
of the Kalevala was opposed by several scholars,^ and 

1 Mehilainen, March, 1836 ; preface to the second edition of the 

2 Kieletdr, iv., p. 33 et seq. ; Kalevalan Karjalaisuus Kalevalasta 
itsestddn ja muluilta todistanut {The Carelism of tlie Kalevala Proved by 
the Kalevala Itself and other Arguments), Helsingf., 1887. 

^ Borenius, Miss'd on Kalevala syntynyt ? ( WJiere teas the Kalevala 
Born?) in the Suomen Kuvalehti, 1873, No. 23, maintains that the 
Kalevala came to Russian Carelia from Finland, and not vice versd. Ret- 
zius, Finska kranier, p. 128 et seq,, reasoning as a naturalist, maintains 
that the Kalevala had its birth west of Russian Carelia, perhaps on the 
shores of Ladoga, between 800 and 1300 a.d. (fixing the first date from 
mention of hops in the making of beer). Neovius, Kalevalan kotiperdstd 
{On the Fatherland of tlie Kalevala), Helsingf., 1890, does not deny the 
Carelism of the Kalevala, but shows that many arguments used by Ahl- 
qvist to prove that its origin is in Russian or Northern Carelia are of equal 
worth for Southern Carelia or Ladoga. 


among others by the lamented JuHus Krohn/ who main- 
tains that this poetry is proper to all the Finns, and has 
been preserved more, less, or not at all, according to 
special circumstances ; that it must have originally be- 
longed rather to the western or Tavastian branch than to 
the eastern or Carelian, although the latter also contri- 
buted to its development. We shall not discuss the 
question here, as it is of no great importance for our 
inquiries ; we shall only say so much as may be useful 
for the clear understanding of the historic existence of the 

Bishop Agricola, in the verses which precede his trans-^ 
lation of the Psalms (1551), speaking of the superstitions, 
and pagan ideas that still lived among the Finns, men- 
tions a good many ancient divinities with their names 
and attributes.^ In this catalogue, which is the most 
ancient document we possess concerning the mythology 
of the Finns, the Tavasts (Hdrndldiset) and Carelians 
(Karjalaiset) are distinct peoples ; and the gods of the 
Tavasts are first enumerated, then those of the Carelians. 
It must be understood that by Hdrndldiset is here meant 
not only the Tavasts of Tavastland, but all those Suoma- 
laiset who are not Carelians. We cannot quarrel with this 
distinction, nor with the general assertion that there are 
many differences between the myths of the two branches, 
but it would be absurd to think, as the catalogue indicates,^ 

1 Virolaiset ja ylimalkan Lansi-siunnalaiset aineet Kalevalassa 
{Esthonian Elements and Western Finnic in General, in the Kalevala) 
in Stiomi, 2nd edit., ser. x. ; Sioomal. Kirjallis. hist., pp. 352-378 ; Finsk 
Tidskrift, 1886, No. 8, p. 99 et seq. 

^ The text, together with an ancient Latin translation in verse, is 
given by Schiefner in his notes to his translation of Castren's lessons on 
Finnic mythology (St. Petersburg, 1853), p. 316 et seq. 

3 As Tavastian gods are mentioned : Tapio, who protects game ; Ahti, 
the god who makes fishers prosperous ; Rahkoi, who darkens the moon ; 
Liekio, ruler over herbs, roots, trees ; Ilmarinen, who produces calm and 
tempest, and is a guide to travellers ; Turisas, giver of booty in war ; 


that these myths had nothing in common ; facts prove the 
contrary. It may be urged that Agricola confined himself 
to registering the names in which the difference lay. But 
even so objections arise : the traditional runes handed 
down to us, including those of the Esthonians who are 
directly connected with the Hamalaiset or Tavasts, show 
that the bishop is mistaken in considering certain divini- 
ties as proper rather to the one branch than to the other 
(e.g., Ukko, the supreme god), and that he also errs in at- 
tributing to the Tavasts what is proper to Carelia, and vice 
versa. The fact is that he was more intimate with the 
Finns of the western or Tavastian branch, among whom 
indeed he Hved, than with the more distant Carehans of 
the east ; so that he gives Vainamoinen and Ilmarinen as 
Tavastian, although we find them repeatedly in the runes 
of Carelia and seldom in those of Esthonia. It is, more- 
over, evident that even in his time the Tavastians knew 
these two only by hearsay and incompletely, for Vaina- 
moinen becomes Ainamoinen, and Ilmarinen is no longer 
the wondrous smith or sej^pd of the Carelian runes, but 
only the maker of good and bad weather. But the 
•errors of the good bishop, who perhaps did not care 
to be very exact in giving the damnable, pagan ideas 
of a people he was trying to enlighten by the transla- 
tion into their language of the Hebrew Psalms, do not 

Kratti, god of riches ; Tontu, who presides over the economy of the 
household ; Piru, seducer of many men ; the Kapeet, who devour tlae 
moon ; the Sons of Kaleva, who mow the meadows. As Carelian : Bongo- 
tetcs, the rye-giver ; Pellonpekko, who causes barley to germinate ; Viran- 
kannos, protector of oats ; Egres, who produces peas, beans, turnips, 
cabbage, flax and hemp ; Kondos, who presides over the digging of the 
fields ; Ukko, who makes a noise when his wife, Rauni, does, and then 
gives thunderstorms and new harvest ; to him is quaffed the Cup of 
Spring-sowing ; KUkri, who causes cattle to multiply ; Hiisi, giver of 
prey from the forests ; Wcden cmtt, who brings fish to the net ; Nyrkkes, 
giver of squirrels from the wood ; Hittavanin, who brings hares from the 
thickets ; the Mcnningaisct, to whom widows and married women sacrifice; 
and many others were worshipped — stones, tree-trunks, the sun, the moon. 


deprive his catalogue of all value. Those mythic names 
lived not only in superstitious usages and stories, but 
also in the poetry, in the rune, in those ancient pagan 
songs which he was trying to supplant by the bibhcal 
psalms, the Christian song. From his words it is 
clear that the rune, a powerful preserver of pagan tra- 
dition even in the midst of Christianity, survived or 
had survived among both Tavastians and Carelians. 
Exactly what it was at the time of Agricola, we cannot 
say ; but it is almost certain that there was a time when 
the rune, even if not common to all the Finns, was at any 
rate far more widely spread than at present. Savolaks, 
for instance, was certainly richer in runes once than it is 
now ; and this is clearly proved by the fact that the Finns 
of Wermland in Sweden, who came thence from Savolaks 
towards the end of the sixteenth century, preserve songs 
which are no longer found in Savolaks.^ Since the rune 
existed among both branches it was natural that exchanges 
should be made during the constant and easy intercourse 
that existed between them. Krohn notices a movement 
of songs from west to east. Borenius - gives an example 
of it in the Christian song on the Virgin Mary and others 
found in Eussian Carelia, though they certainly did not 
originate there but in the west, in Catholic times ; neither 
can the song on the " Great Oak " have arisen where the 
oak does not exist, nor that on the " Origin of Beer " 
where beer is not made. It is also a fact that many rune- 
singers of Eussian Careha are of Finnic famihes estab- 
lished there for not many generations ; although this does 
not prove that indigenous singers are wanting or have 
always been wanting, or that the influx of certain songs 
from without may not be in reality a return. These facts 

1 Collected there by Gottlund. Cf. Aminoff, Tietoja Wermlannin 
StiODialaisista {Notices of the Finns of Wermland) in Suomi, 1876, p. 
161 et seq. 

* Missd on KaUvala syntynyt ? p. 62 et seq. 


and others indicating an easterly movement of songs 
should not, however, hide a more ancient, contrary move- 
ment. If no other proof of this existed, we have the 
analysis of the Ingrian and above all of the Esthonian 
runes, in which both mythic names and stories (and 
Krohn registers them) are echoes and remembrances of 
Carelian runes. Lonnrot himself recognises this inter- 
change, and, while maintaining his idea on the original 
Carelism of the Kalevala, has in his second edition sup- 
pressed the addition ancient Carelian runes with which he 
had accompanied the title of the poem in the first edition : 
he knew well from how many parts of the country of the 
Finns he had drawn songs and variants for the composi- 
tion of his poem both for the first, and still more for the 
second edition. But the interchanges took place within 
certain Hmits ; the same manner of poetising produced 
different mythic and heroic ideals in the two branches ; 
and thus Agricola's distinction is, broadly speaking, a just 
one. Even if we leave on one side what is peculiar to 
Ingria,^ we see that among the Esthonians the rune 
elaborated Kalevipoeg, a type of hero so different from 
any found in the Carelian songs, that he would be entirely 
out of place in the Kalevala ; and there is no wonder that 
Agricola should place Kalev among the mythic personages 
of the Hamalaiset, to whom this myth originall}' belonged. 
On the other hand, Vainamoinen, Ilmarinen, the Lady of 
Pohjola, together with the Sampo, the Lapps, etc., funda- 
mental in the Kalevala, are so intimately at one with the 
Carelian songs that one cannot imagine their forming 
part of any other poem : in them we feel the neighbour- 
hood of the sharper North and of the Lapps, as in the 
name of Vainamoinen we recognise the Dvina. And in 
this we are in agreement with Ahlqvist. 

* Ingria is Carelian ; but not all the Finns of Ingermanland are Care- 
lians. Vide Porkka, Ueber den Ingrischen Dialekt viit BerUcksichtigung 
der Ubrigen finnisch-ingcrmanldndisclien Dialekte, Helsingf., 1885. 


Now, if I have explained myself clearly on the life and 
essence of this traditional poetry, every one will under- 
stand the value of the question : " Where did the Kalevala 
arise?" As for the poem, generated within the mind of 
Lonnrot, we have said when and how it saw the light. 
As for the mass of songs which have served for its com- 
position, they date from different — nay, very different — 
times and places, although at present contemporaneous 
and found principally in Carelia. A generic question of 
this kind can be asked only of something that is more 
concrete and at the same time common to all this poetry : 
its manner, its unique form. It diffused itself among all 
the Finns, lived for centuries applied in different ways, in 
different times, in different places, but it certainly was not 
born among all of them ; a manner, a time, a place of its 
origin there must have been. The question, then, is legiti- 
mate and rational : " How, when, where did the rune have 
its birth?" The how and the when we will discuss in 
another place. The less important question of the where 
is rendered difficult, if not impossible, of solution, by what 
is certain regarding the when. Because, however careful 
one may be to avoid the exaggerations into which some 
have fallen in speaking of the antiquity of this poetry, one 
cannot possibly deny that it was anterior by some cen- 
turies to the introduction of Christianity among the Finns. 
And those were dark, troubled times, in which we have 
scanty, uncertain notices of those peoples. They were little 
cared for or esteemed (except as magicians) by the neigh- 
bouring Scandinavians and Slavs ; and there is indeed no 
agreement even in the names applied to them. There 
was at that time in the northern part of Eastern Europe 
a movement among the peoples in consequence of which, 
in the second half of the ninth century, the Eussian state 
emerged and entered on its phase of historical activity ; 
taking, although a Slav people, the name Bos, which was 
proper to the Scandinavians and is still used in this sense 


by the Finns (Ruotsalaiset = Swedes). The written re- 
cords of the Russians relate the birth of their state from a 
group of peoples, barbarous and without laws, a mixture 
of Slavs and Finns of various names, who said to the 
Varjags (Scandinavians), Come and be our lords and rulers. 
And there, to the south of the Gulf of Finland, among 
Slavs and Finns, arose the Slav city Novgorod the Great. 
It was Norse in its instincts, warlike, pushing, rapacious, 
the hammer of the neighbouring peoples : of such Cuds or 
Finns as held aloof from the new state, and lived with- 
out lords and rulers. In that long period of movement, 
when, for instance, Finns go and settle in the land of 
the ancient ^stii and become Esthonians, how can we, 
unlighted by history, have any clear vision or distinguish 
one people from another — distinguish them by their 
abodes, their languages, their dialects or other peculiari- 
ties ? ^ How can we determine up to what point the peoples 
of that time resembled those of the present day ? It is 
certain that the difference between Hamalaiset and 
Carelians, being not only one of dialect but also anthro- 
pological, must necessarily be very ancient, just as the 
relative position of the latter to the east of the former 
dates from times far back. But we must remember 
that there is a question discussed by Lehrberg^ and 
Sjogren ^ about the original abode of the Hamalaiset 
and that there was a time in which the Hama- 
laiset lived south-west of Lake Ladoga, where we 

^ On the few dubious notices that we have vid. Koskinen, Tiedot Suomen 
suvuna nummisuudesta {Notices on the Antiquity of the Finnic Stock), 
Helsingfors, 1862, p. 129 et seq. ; Ignatius, Finlands Oeografi (Helsingfors, 
1881), p. 5 et seq. Concerning the coming of the Finns to the Baltic vid. 
the discussion between Aspelin, Koskinen and others in Siimni, 1882, 
p. 353 et seq. 

2 Untcrsuchungen zur Erlduterntig d. cilteren Gesch. Busslands, St. 
Petersburg, 1816. 

3 Ueber die alteren Wohnsitze der Jeinen {Gesamm. Schrift., i., p. 461 
et seq.). 


afterwards find Carelians.^ Historical records know no 
distinction between Hamalaiset and Carelians before the 
eleventh and twelfth centuries. The first mention of the 
Hamalaiset is found in the Kussian chronicles of 1043^ 
when the men of Novgorod go out against them under 
the leadership of the kniaz Vladimir laroslavi^.^ The 
Carelians are spoken of for the first time in 1143, when, 
in alliance with the Russians, they attack their brethren,, 
the Hamalaiset.^ And did the Carelians reach as far as 
the present Russian Careha, as far as the Dvina, as the 
present government of Archangel ? There on the Dvina 
Scandinavian legends and sagas place the prosperous, 
people of the Biarms, concerning whom they recount 
semi-fabulous stories from the ninth century onwards ; ^ 
and this people excited the covetousness of the Norse, as- 
well as of the Bulgarians and of the Russians, until they 
were overpow^ered after the twelfth century, and vanish. 
The Russian chronicles place there the Cuds or Finns,, 
calling the country Zavolo6eskaja Cud, that is, the Finnic 
(Cud) country across the Volok, the vast forest region 
(volok) extending from Vologda and Bjelozero northwards, 
towards the Dvina.^ In spite of the affirmations to the 

^Sjogren, Gesamni. Schr., i., p. 594. 

- Ibid., pp. 463 et seq., 481 et seq., 590 et seq. '^ Cf. ibid., i., p. 594 et seq. 

■^ Ibid., pp. 312 et seq., 390 et seq., etc. The most ancient notice is that 
given by the Scandinavian Other to King Alfred the Great and inserted 
in that king's Anglo-Saxon version of Orosius ; vid. Works of King Alfred 
tJie Great (ed. Giles), London, 1858, vol. iii. (n. xxiii., T. Hampson, Essay 
on the Geography of King Alfred the Great), and King Alfred's Anglo-Saxon 
Version of Orosius, ed. Bosworth, London, 1859 ; Porthan, Forsok at 
icplysa kmiung Aelfreds geograph. Beskrifen. ofver den europeiske Norden 
[Opera Selecta, v., p. 43 et seq.). Other notices on the Biarms existing in 
Scandinavian writings are collected in the anonymous article Isldndarnes 
berdttelser om de fordna Finnar, in Fosterldndskt Album, i. (Helsingfors> 
1845), p. 73 et seq. 

•''Sjogren, Gesaimn. Schr., i., p. 515 et seq.; Castren, Anmdrkningar 
om Savolotscheskaja Tschud (Nordiska Resor och Forshningar, v., p. 40t 
et seq.). 


contrary of Lonnrot, Ahlqvist and others, the Biarms 
were certainly not Carelians, the Carelians of the runes. 
What is told of them, even if it be exaggerated, gives a very 
different idea of their social conditions from that reflected 
in the runes. They belong to the family of the Finnic 
peoples ; not to the group of the Suomalaiset, but to that, 
as their name show^s, of the Permians, to v^^hich the 
Syrianians and the Votyaks also belong. But beside the 
predominant Biarms, there were more obscure Finns in 
that part of the Dvina and of Onega. It was certainly a 
Finn of the Suomalaiset who declared to Scandinavian 
visitors in 1026,^ that the image existing in a rich temple 
of the Biarms was a jumala (jomale) : a word for God 
quite peculiar to the Suomalaiset, from whom the Lapps 
have taken it (ibmel). But leaving the Biarms out of 
the question, Castren and Ahlqvist have shown with 
weighty arguments, that Finns properly so called, and 
these Carelians, really did live there.^ 

The clearest inference to be drawn from this exposi- 
tion of obscure facts is the difficulty of determining, by 
means of what we now know of the rune, whether it 
originated among the Hamaliiiset or the Carelians. Our 
own opinion is that the probability Hes with the Carelians, 
among whom there is a clearer connection between the 
magic and the heroic rune, between the heroic ideals and 
the magic song. That is to say that the Carelians, those 
Carelians who told of the '' Old man of the Dvina," the 
vanha Vdindmomen, as the most miraculous of their ancient 
magicians or shamans, wove the formless magic word into 
a song of stable, determiued form : the rune. But in the 
myth elaborated by the rune we find, as we shall see, a 
great influx of Germanic words and ideas, especially in 
the names, many of which are ancient, as Haltia, Hiidet, 

^ Vid. the tale of Thore Hund in the saga of King Olaf the Holy, c. 

^ Kalevalan Karjalaisuus, cap. i. 


Kave, etc. ; even the word Sampo is Germanic. So that 
the rune must have developed in a region more exposed to 
those influences than could have been the northern, far-off 
Carelia, which touches the Dvina and that shore of the 
White Sea called by the Russians the Carelian shore 
{Karielski hercg)} The very word mno certainly could not 
penetrate so far. 

The poetry itself, mobile, continually renewed, in- 
different to history, cannot afford us the light we might 
expect. As to the language, since the countries where 
the rune still flourishes are Carelian, Carelian is the 
dominant tongue, and Carelian is the language of the 
Kalevala : forms and words are therefore found that need 
explanation, being some of them dialect and differing from 
the ruling and literary speech, which is Tavast, There 
are also varieties in Carelian itself. During the passage 
■of the songs from one place to another, a word will find 
itself in some spot where it is alien to the local dialect ; 
and he who learns it there, will either replace it by the 
local equivalent or will repeat it mechanically without 
knowing what it means ; but in one place or another the 
words and forms that are found in the runes in general 
and in the Kalevala are all living : there is no archaism, 
no tradition of ancient words become lifeless and stereo- 
typed. Wherever the rune lives it speaks the hving 
language of its abode : it speaks Esthonian in Esthonia ; 
and if it existed among the Tavasts, it would speak Tavast 
there. We have already said that this power of adapta- 
tion may be observed in all runes of every kind, even in 
the magic rune, where we should least expect it. The 
present Carelism of the Kalevala, therefore, by no means 
proves that this was the original language of the rune. 

On the other hand, as we have just hinted, and as we 
•shall see at greater length elsewhere, the poetry of the 

^Sjogren, Gesamvi. Schr., i., p. 324, note 262. 


runes takes no account of historical events, does not re- 
flect them, does not mention them. This is a character- 
istic fact where we have, as we have here, narrative poetry,, 
heroic epos. The rune may be found appHed to some 
historicai-rehgious fact in CathoHc times, and also to some 
fact in secular history after the Reformation ; but such 
cases are few and of small importance ; the ancient, tra- 
ditional, narrative and heroic rune, the rune of the Kalevala,. 
is quite outside history. The ancient intercourse of the 
Finns with Germanic and Lithu-Slavonic peoples, which 
an analysis of their language reveals, is unknown to it ;. 
of the ancient incursions of the Scandinavian vikings into 
Finnish territory and of those of the Finns into Scandi- 
navian territory, it does not speak ; the Novgorod events, 
with which the Finns had so much to do, those of the 
Swedish conquest, the frequent, bloody struggles between 
Swedes and Russians and the part which the Finns took 
in them on one side or the other, the ancient conflicts be- 
tween the Finns themselves, between Hamalaiset and 
Carelians, — all this finds no echo in the poetry of the 
runes, is outside the epic ideals that the runes have 
worked out, of the heroic action which they narrate. The 
Kalevala not only makes no distinction between Carelians. 
and Tavastians ; it does not even give a definite idea of the 
Finnic country, whether in itself or in its relations with 
surrounding countries, nor of a people, nor of a nation. 
The only real people that figure in its action are the 
Lapps. The Finns are represented by individuals such as 
Vitinamoinen, Ilmarinen, etc. ; Kalevala and Pohjola are 
mythical and indefinite regions except so far as the latter 
lies north of the former ; rare is the mention of actual, 
recognised countries and places ; vague, generic, incidental,, 
inconsistent as in stories for little children, is the idea given 
of the place" where the hero lives, through which he passes,. 
where he acts. No hint is to be found of a constituted 
society ; there is nothing beyond the individual and the 


family. How can we ask the rune, deaf as it is to history, 
for information as to its origin, its fatherland, its stock? 
How can we ask it these things when the very subject of 
its tales is a problem to scholars? The problem will 
have its reply in what we shall say elsewhere, but 
must here be mentioned in its general formula, leaving on 
one side the solutions which have been offered. Many 
have asked and have tried to find out : What does the 
Kalevala mean? Has it a historical meaning, or a 
mythical one (symbohsing summer, winter, for instance), 
or an allegorical one? Any one can find mythical and 
allegorical symbols where and in what number he likes ; 
but history cannot be invented. The only concrete fact 
of a historical character to which more than one scholar 
has considered the runes to make allusion, is the move- 
ment by which the Finns pushed the Lapps farther north, 
and took their land. It is by no means unlikely that such 
a movement should take place in ancient times, and that 
poetry should express it in verse and hand it down to 
posterity. But the definition we have given of this tra- 
ditional poetry and of its perennial life, renders it an incon- 
ceivable anomaly that, through centuries of production, 
it should still preserve a record of that ancient fact and 
not of many others more certain and more important ; 
that it should remember the conflict with the poor, honest 
Lapps, and not that with the more famous Scandinavians 
and Slavs, with whom the Finns had, from the most 
ancient times, far more to do than with the Lapps, and 
of whom their language bears a profound impression. He 
who seeks a historical kernel in the Kalevala, will find the 
nut empty : the epos of the Finns is not, like that of other 
peoples, a product of the historical sentiment. Epic ideals 
must here be studied in conjunction with mythic ideals, 
heroes side by side with demons or gods. They will be 
seen to emerge from one and the same poetry based on 
the shamanic or magic idea : it will become clear that the 


epic rune, with its heroic types, is nothing but an offshoot 
from the magic rune, mother of the demonic myth. But 
in pursuing this study we must abandon all idea of 
symbohsm, more or less profound, and of thought-out 
allegory : things far removed from the frank, simple mind 
of the laulajat. 

It would seem that a traditional poetry, especially 
narrative poetry, should, if it does not record historical 
events, be at least a document of the ancient culture, the 
ancient manner of life, of its people ; or that it should 
help us, with what it says of nature, plants, animals, 
waters, etc., to distinguish and recognise its origin and 
derivation rather from one region than from another. 
The Kalevala was, and is still, considered and used in this 
way by many : by AspeHn the archaeologist, for instance, 
Retzius the anthropologist, Ahlqvist the philologist, who 
sustains its Carelism ; Koskinen the historian, etc. "Where 
other documents are wanting, and one has a tradition of 
ancient date, the idea of interrogating this as a document 
is legitimate ; but one must first clearly understand what 
that tradition is, being careful not to mistake it for what 
it is not. If there were a poem, or even a mass of songs 
composed or generated in ancient times and handed down 
without alteration by oral tradition, we should certainly 
have in them a precious historical document for those 
distant ages so different from our own. But here we 
must bear in mind what we have already said of the 
Kalevala and of the rune. The Kalevala is not the Big- 
Veda, the laulajat are not the rishis. The Kalevala is by no 
means, as some have thought, an ancient poem of which 
Lonnrot has found the scattered members. The poetry of 
the runes, although traditional, is not crystalhsed, dead ; 
it is active and constantly renewing itself. In it there are 
in truth many things that date from ancient, pagan times ; 
but these are still in existence in present thought and life, 
are still to be found in those modest, out-of-the-way places 


where the rune flourishes. A study of the culture, cus- 
toms, ideas of those places, illustrates the Kalevala} In 
many places ancient customs were forgotten and changed ; 
in many the poetry of tradition became extinct ; in 
others life is taking on new forms and the rune is dying 
out ; and the time is perhaps not far off in which the 
manner of life and way of thinking will be transformed 
and the ancient rune entirely forgotten. Then the Kale- 
vala, and all the runes collected and written in our days, 
will be truly a historical document of an age that was. 
The same considerations must be appHed to the deductions 
which appear to follow from the idea of nature revealed 
in the Kalevala.'^ The living rune does not long con- 
tinue to repeat mechanically that of which it has no 
experience ; it reflects present nature, that in which it 
lives. Even if, as Ahlqvist would have it, we can show 
that the nature described in the Kalevala is really that 
of N. Carelia, we have then only proved that at the 
present time the rune is more abundant there than 
elsewhere, and that the greater part of the runes com- 
posing the Kalevala come from there, a thing already well 
known ; but we have not proved anything with regard to 
the rune several centuries back. The rune speaks of the 
flesh of the pig, it speaks of the oak, of the apple tree, and 
in the east of N. Carelia pigs are not raised, oak and apple 
do not grow. But although not native there, they are not 
unknown. They were introduced into the poetry of the 
runes in more southern and western regions, where they 
really existed, and are still spoken of where they are 
known, though not indigenous. This may prove that the 
boundaries in space of the life of the rune are more 

1 This is what A. D. Heikel does in his little essay illustrative of 
several objects mentioned in the Kalevala, Kansatietellinen sanasto kuvien 
kanssa {Illustrated Ethnological Glossary), Helsingfors, 1885 (from Suomi). 

'^ Retzius, Finska Kranier, p. 28 et seq. ; Ahlqvist, Kalevalan Karja- 
luisuus, ch. v., p. 112 et seq. 


extended than some have thought. But this only refers 
to the present time ; historically, with regard to the origin 
of the rune, it proves nothing. Of a truth, there is not 
to be found in the Kalevala, in any rune of any kind, 
mention of anything which is not, directly or indirectly, 
known to all the Finns of whatever district. The laulaja 
would feel himself at perfect Hberty to suppress what was 
uninteUigible, substituting a known word or idea. Instead 
of oak he would say birch or fir ; instead of apple, fruit, 
berry, strawberry, etc. Even without the inducement of 
a reason of this kind, substitution, variation is for him so 
natural a fact that it occurs without any intention on his 
part, nay, without his perceiving it. I say without his 
perceiving it ; for two singers will begin to quarrel, and 
with some heat, one persisting in saying no, the rune does 
not say like that, but like this, and the other in maintain- 
ing that it says as he has recited it.^ This is naturally 
caused by the different spring from which each one drew 
the song, but it also reveals a feeling of faithfulness and 
respect for the traditional word such as should prevent it 
from varying. Yet the variants are innumerable, not only 
in the different districts from the government of Archangel 
to Esthonia, but also in the same locality or group of 
places. The differences consist in the language, which, in 
various places, receives the impress of the local dialect or 
vernacular ; in the facts, narrated differently in different 
places ; in the names of personages and locahties ; in the 
particulars of the narration ; and also in the expression of 
the same idea in more or in fewer lines, by one word 
instead of another, or by this epithet rather than that. 
We can form no idea of the extent of this instabihty, in 

^ Such, for example, was the question between the old woman-singer 
Olena and the other old woman Okoi in the village of Audista (Western 
Ingria), spoken of in Kalevalan toisinnot, p. 207 ; and the other between 
two old men-singers, Simana and Sissonen, in Mekrijarvi (Ilomants), ibid., 
p. 87, n. 227. 


the midst of which we still recognise the permanent form 
of an ancient tradition, unless we have the mass of the 
variants before us to study and compare. To illustrate 
what we have said as far as is possible in this place, we 
may take from the runes that give the mj^ oftheCreaiJoix, 
that place where the bird that flew {Kalevala, i., 188 et seq.) 
is spoken of, and observe all the varieties in the expression 
of this simple idea : " a bird went flying in search of a place 
in which to lay its eggs ".^ In the Kalevala it is a duck, 
of the kind called sotka (Juligula clangula), and so it is in 
many variants ; but in others it is a duck of another 
species, a haapana {anas penelojje) , a sorsa (anas boschas), an 
alii {fuligula glacialis), a telkkd {fuligula cristata) ; but it is 
also often a goose (hanhi) ; sometimes an eagle (kotka) ; in 
many Ingrian and Esthonian variants it is a swallow 
{pddsky, pddsky7ieny pddskyldinen) ; but in some of those of 
Russian Carelia it is a drone (herhildinen) or a bee {mehi- 
Idifien), which, like other winged insects, is known in the 
runes as bird of the air (ilman linnut) ; ^ sometimes it is 
any kind of bird, a little bird (jneni lintu), a big bird {suuri 
Until). One of the simplest variants tells the thing, as do 
others, in two lines, e.g. : — 

Ilman lintu pikkaraini (A tiny bird of the air) 

Etsivi pesan sioa. (Was seeking a place for its nest). 

Others express it in three, four lines and even more, 
saying that the bird flew and flew desirous, flew wearily, 
that it flew " over the translucent back of the sea " (selvdlld 
meren seldlld), that as it flew it skimmed the sea, touched 
the waves ; that this happened on a summer's day, on an 
autumn night; that the bird flew afar ofl, that it flew 

^ In the published part of the Kalevalan toisinnot, pp. 1-77, 158-163, 
there are 200 and more variants, without those of Russian Carelia, some 
of which, printed but not published, lie before me. 

2 Lintu, bird, is from lentaa, to fly ; it is hence also applied to flying 
oreatures which we could not call birds. 



over the sea, over the land, to the north, to the west, and 
found not where to settle to make a nest for its young 
ones, to dig, to scratch for its nest, etc. About all this 
and about other incidents, some runes tell us less, some 
more, some are shorter, some more diffuse and circum- 
stantial ; but amidst all the varying and fluctuating which 
a comparison of the variants reveals, we follow the thread 
unbroken, the fundamental unity of a poetical tradition, 
whose identity is as clearly recognisable in the Esthonian 
variants as it is in those of the more remote Bussian 
Carelia, e.g. : — 

Esthonian var. Var. from Vtwnninen {Russian Car.). 
Lendelie linnukene Hanhut on ilman lintu 

Lendelie, liugelie Lentavi, lekuttelevi 

Lendas meie koppelie Liittelekse, loattelekse 

Otsis maad munadaksena Etsivi pesan sioa. 
Piesast pesa tehaksena. 

And if we wished to do so we could make the identity 
still clearer by choosing lines here and there among 
the numerous variants of Kussian Carelia. Of differences 
in narration we shall have to speak when we come 
to consider the composition of the Kalevala. Here we 
may observe that this story of the bird seeking where 
to lay its eggs is a poetic motive frequently and variously 
used in the runes : it serves in the runes that tell of the 
creation of the world, in those that narrate the creation of 
the celestial bodies,^ in those that relate the origin of the 
island of Saari,- as well as in those (and these are magic 
runes) which give the origin of seals and fish.^ And there 
is in this poetry a great abundance of these fantastic 
themes of variable usage, as there is also a great abund- 
ance of lines and poetical formulas that serve for every 
kind of song, epic, magic and lyric. He who, with such 

^ Kalevalan toisinnot, n. 155 et seq. - Ibid., n. 78 et seq. 

' Ibid., n. 72 et seq. 


an enormous number of variants before him, should set to 
work to determine the text of a song, observing the pro- 
cedure of the singers themselves, vi^ill easily understand 
Lonnrot's method, if not in composing the Kalevala, at 
any rate in establishing the text of the runes. 

With recrard to v^^hat we call the mobility of the rune, 
which we have here thought necessary to define clearly, 
it is to be remembered that definiteness and consistency 
are not the distinguishing features of this poetry. This 
may be observed in each song taken separately, as well as 
in the mass of songs and their varieties. It is very clear to- 
any one who studies in them the mythic idea. Parallelism 
itself, the commonest and most distinctive resource of this 
poetry, instead of sharpening the outhnes of the idea^ 
often renders it tremulous, undetermined, or generic. 
Finding no exact synonym, no image or periphrasis 
adapted to repeat the same idea in other terms, the lau- 
laja substitutes another, which he thinks approximate ; 
with the result that the specific idea becomes blurred and 
is forgotten, and there remains only the generic idea that 
includes different things placed in relation by the singer. 
Thus he will say : " The little bird was flying one fine day 
in summer. One fine night in autumn the little bird was 
flying " ; whence it results that the little bird flew in a time 
that is quite undetermined. He will say that Vainamoi- 
nen by his enchantments caused a fir with a golden top 
to spring up, and placed on it a marten with a golden 
breast, saying then to Ilmarinen : ** Hallo, smith Ilmari- 
nen, Come to see the marten. To kill the squirrel. There 
on the fir with the golden top " ; so that what first 
appeared clear becomes undecided, and the impression 
left is that of any kind of animal with a golden breast. 
Lonnrot has here substituted the moon and the constel- 
lation of the Great Bear (Kalevala, rune x., i., 115 et seq.), 
which is the same, and better. The laulaja will say that 
Vainamoinen, having fallen into the waters, " Went about 


there for six years, There for seven summers, Tossed for 
nine years " ; where the numbers oscillate by reason of 
the parallehsm, and we obtain the result of a long, inde- 
terminate period of time. 

Of this indeterminateness we shall often speak in 
treating of the myth ; and the inconsistencies we shall also 
discuss when examining the Kalevala, where they abound 
in spite of all Lonnrot's care. One curious example of 
them, however, may be given here as especially instruc- 
tive and adapted to this place. In addition to that strange 
Lapp who exists before the world was created (as we see 
in the first edition of the Kalevala, and as is really the 
case in the runes of Kussian Carelia), those same runes 
relate how Vainamoinen, wandering through the sea after 
the creation of the world, reaches Pohjola and bemoans 
the fate that led him to those strange, inhospitable shores, 
fatal to heroes — " To that land without a priest, to that 
country unbaptised ". This expression, so crude an ana- 
chronism, comes from a rune that arose among the Finns 
of the West within historic and Catholic times : the well- 
known rune that tells the death of Bishop Henry,^ the 
apostle of the Finns. In it those lines are quite in 
place. There the holy bishop exhorts the king of Sweden 
io undertake the conversion of '* That country without 
priests, Of that land without baptism ". The song passed 
from west to east, from Catholic and later Lutheran Finns 
to those of the Russian Church in the government of 
Archangel ; and its lines, like those of so many other runes 
of every time and every place, have been appHed by the 
laulajat, without regard to propriety, to songs entirely 
different in subject. 

Lonnrot gives a clear account of the natural way in 
which the rune passes from man to man, from generation 
to generation. On the occasion of a wedding-feast or of 

^ Kanteletar, iii., n. 



some other gathering, a man hears a new song and he 
tries to remember it. But when, after a time, he sings it 
before other hearers, he recollects rather the facts of the 
story than its precise tenor, word for word. The places 
that he does not remember exactly he expresses in his own 
words, which are often better than those he heard ; and 
although in this way some minor circumstance of the 
story may be omitted, it frequently happens that another is 
substituted in its place. The song is treated in the same 
way by a second, by a third hearer, and is thus gradually 
changed, though rather in single expressions and passages 
than in its main facts. Side by side with this manner of 
poetic tradition there is another which better preserves 
the ancient form of the song and the sequence of its 
parts: the handing down for generations from father 
to son. But while this mode of tradition prevents 
the former from getting too far from the original, 
it is itself constrained to follow its sister to a certain 
extent ; otherwise the differences would become too 

Thus did the rune live, thus was it handed down 
through the centuries, thus has it continued to flourish 
till the present time, always old and always new, always 
the same and always different. We must make mention 
here of the singular and characteristic way in which the 
narrative rune, that which interests us most, is recited ; 
for this, too, has a bearing on the changes of its life. It 
is an ancient custom for the runes to be sung by two men, 
of whom one is the first or chief {pddmies), he who precedes 
{edeltdjd), the precentor, in fact, the principal singer ; the 
other is the assistant {puoUdjd), the accompanist (keral- 
linen\ the repeater (kertoja), or, still better, is he who twists 
the thread, the cord of the song as it is gradually formed, 
developed by the other {sdistdjd from sdistdd, to twist, 

^ Preface to the second edition of the Kalevala, § 6. 


make cords or threads).^ Seated side by side or opposite 
to each other, so near as to touch knee against knee, each 
holds the other by the hands, and swaying slightly they 
sing together in the following manner : the first begins by 
singing about half a line alone ; at the third foot the other 
comes in, and after singing with him the last two or three 
syllables, repeats the whole line while the first is silent. 
Thus they go on from line to line, continuing the song 
with earnestness and gravity, intent on their work, while 
their hearers throng around them listening with the most 
lively attention. The second singer, when he repeats the 
line, generally introduces some term of approbation ("I 
say," sanon ; " is," on) after the first foot, if this falls at the 
end of a word. Let us suppose that the line given out by 
the first singer is : — 

Vaka, vanha Vainamoinen. 
(The strong, the old Vainamoinen.) 

Then the second, after singing the last syllables together 
with the first, sings it through alone, saying : — 

Vaka (sanon) vanha Vainamoinen. 
(The strong (I say), the old Vainamoinen.) 

It is a way of singing that appears suggested by the con- 
servative spirit of the tradition which is better assured by 
the agreement of two memories. As a matter of fact, 
however, the second simply follows and repeats the first ; 
he does not correct him, does not vary, adds nothing ; 
only, by repeating each verse, he gives time to the first to 
remember what follows, and even to improvise, if his 
memory fails him. Thus opportunity is afforded for 
that variation in the rune of which we have already said 
so much.^ The difficulty to be overcome by the second 

' The Greeks use a like similitude for long songs without verses, 

"^ Castrt n {Nord. Resor och Forskningar, i., p. 202) describes a similar 
usage among the Samoyedes. The Samoyede shaman {Tadibe) is aided by 


(and not all are adapted for this part) lies in knowing or 
guessing in time the end of the line that he is to sing with 
the first, especially if the line is improvised ; there are 
some less ready who are reduced to coming in on the last 
syllable. Another effect of this way of singing is to cause 
the narration to proceed much more slowly than it would 
seem to do to a reader. If we remember that every verse 
is sung twice over, if we take into consideration the use of 
parallelism which follows each line by at least one other, 
repeating the same thing in different words, we can easily 
imagine the slowness with which the contents of the rune 
are conveyed to the audience. 

The magic rune is murmured, said, recited. Epic and 
lyric runes are sung to a musical phrase which is the same 
for every line ; only the key is varied every second hne, or 
in the epic runes at every repetition of the line by the 
second voice. The phrase is sweet,^ simple, without 
emphasis, with as many notes as there are syllables. It is 
certainly ancient ; this is why rune and poetry were known 
as song {laulu). As soon as it came to know itself, the rune 
created a poetical idea of its own essence in the eternal 
singer (laulaja idn-ikuinen) Vainiimoinen, its Apollo or its 
Orpheus. It also idealised with a poetic story, as the 
Greeks did, the musical instrument which accompanied the 
song, the cithern, the Kantele, which, as we see in the 
Kalevala, being constructed and played upon hj the eternal 

another shaman of less merit. The first begins by beating the magic drum 
and singing a few words to gloomy, awesome music ; then the other comes 
in, and both of them, like the singers of the Finnic runes, sing the same 
words together, after which the first remains silent while the other 
repeats alone what he sang. But the song of these Samoyede shamans 
consists of but few words and is almost entirely improvised. Among the 
Finns, although the epic song is sung by two, as above described, the 
magic song is, at the present time at any rate, pronounced by one only ; 
vid. Lonnrot, Loitsurun., p. x. 

1 It is given by Tengstrom in the work quoted below, p. 279, and in 
Fosterlcindskt Album, i. (Helsingf., 1845), in the table at the end of the 


singer, fascinates all beings and stirs them by the vibration 
of its strings. This instrument, now falling into disuse, was 
in fact the ancient companion of the rune it is abandoning. 
A drawing by Acerbi,^ who visited those countries at the 
end of last century (1798), gives the interior of a pirtti (the 
old, rustic Finnish dwelling, which is also now giving place 
to houses of a different form) with two men seated opposite 
each other singing runes, while at a little distance there 
is another, playing an instrument which he holds upon 
his knees. This is the kantele, a kind of cithern played 
with the fingers and placed either on the knees or on a 
table. It formerly had not more than five strings, originally 
of horse-hair, afterwards of wire. Later on, like the Greek 
lyre, it had more; at present it may have as many as 
twelve or sixteen. Eecently it has been made with a 
closed body; anciently it consisted of a thick plank of 
birch wood, hollowed out on one side, and on the other 
furnished with five strings stretched by means of pegs. 
Thus the body was not closed in ; the sounding-board was 
formed by the table on which the player put the instru- 
ment.^ In parallel passages the kantele is replaced by an 
instrument bearing the German name harpu, which is not a 
harp but a sort of three-stringed viola, played with a bow.^ 

^ Travels through Stveden, Finlaiul and Lapland to the North Cape in 
tlie years 1798-9, London, 1802. Cf. Skjoldebrand (Acerbi's companion), 
Voyage pittoresque au Cap Nord, Stockholm, 1801-2. The drawing is re- 
produced in Retzius' Finska Kranier, p. 132 ; Finnland, p. 126, and in the 
third cheap edition of the Kalevala (Helsingf., 1887), plate 29. 

'^On the kantele and its varieties see Porthan, De pocsi fcnnica {Op. 
selccta, iii.), p, 3.36; Tengstrom, Cm de fordna Finnars Sdllskap-NOjen 
och Tidsflrrdrif, 1795 (in Vitterh. Hist, och Antiquit. Akadem. Handlingar, 
Stockholm, 1802), p. 280 ; Heikel, Kansatietellinen Sanasto, p. 10 ; Gott- 
lund, Muistutuksia meijdn vanJwista kansallisista soitoistamme (Account 
of our Ancient Popular Instruments) ; Otava, i., 267 et seq. ; Retzius, 
Finska Kranier, p. 137 et seq. ; Finnland, Schilderung, etc., p. 135 et seq., 
gives carefully gathered notices with several drawings. 

^ Vid. the drawing of it in Retzius' op. cit., p. 138, and Porthan's de- 
finition, op. cit., p. 336. Harpic is found once only in the Kalevala in a 


But the ancient national instrument, the companion of 
the runes, is the kantele. In his ingenious compilation 
of the last song of the Kalevala, Lonnrot introduces 
Vainamoinen disappearing before the rule of Christ and 
leaving the kantele to his people : — 

Jiitti kantelon jalille, He left behind him the kantele, 

Soiton Suomelle sorean, His beloved instrument to Suomi, 

Kanselle ilon ikuisen, To the people an eternal joy, 

Laulut suuret lapsillensa. Lofty songs to his children. 

The hard conditions of Finnic life have long been con- 
soled by this legacy. The time is at hand in which 
the ancestral rune will be forgotten by the people and will 
have to be studied in libraries as the old kantele already 
is in museums ; but the Kalevala will remain, a national 
monument of patriotic import for the Finns, an attractive 
study for themselves and for others. We, too, far re- 
moved as we are by birth and race, feel its spell ; as we 
close our long preamble and go on to consider the poem 
itself, the principal subject of our inquiry. 

passage (485, Veivdt harpun hauHnluisen, Kantelon kalan-evdisen) in 
which it is used in parallelism as an equivalent with kantele. Its use in 
the runes is much more frequent than would appear from the Kalevala, in. 
which Lonnrot has only allowed this single example to appear. 




Proem : Invitation to the song. 

Rune i. The daughter of the air, the beautiful child of 
Nature (Luoniwtar), tired of her long solitude, came down 
from the vast untrodden regions of the air on to the sur- 
face of the waters. The waves were driven hither and 
iihither by a stormy east wind ; they embraced the fair 
maiden as she gleefully played amongst them ; and by 
them she conceived. And for seven hundred years did 
she float hither and thither as Lady of the Waters, bear- 
ing her offspring within her, for she could not give birth to 
it. Weary and worn she raised her voice in prayer to- 
wards the supreme god, the ancient of years, Ukko, 
beseeching him to free her, in pity, from the anguish of 
her burden. And lo, a duck came flying, anxiously seek- 
ing a place whereon to settle and build its nest. The 
daughter of the air saw the bird, and raised a knee above 
the surface of the waters where she lay. The duck saw 
it, settled upon it, made its nest, layed its eggs, and began 
to sit. And as it remained sitting for a long time, it 
warmed the knee so much that the daughter of the air 
felt lively pain from the heat, and her knee shook. The 
eggs fell into the sea and broke, and the fragments under- 
went a transformation. From the two halves of the shell 
arose the vault of the sky and the terrestrial hemisphere 
below it, from the yolk the sun took form, from the white 
the moon, from the more shining parts the stars, from the 
darker parts the clouds. And time passed and still the 


•daughter of the air floated up and down in the sea, when 
after the ninth year she raised her head from the waves 
and began to create. As she moved her hands, her feet, 
her flanks, her back, there came into existence capes, 
grottoes, marine abysses, level and rocky shores, gulfs, 
rocks and islands. But Vainamoinen, the eternal singer, 
•still remained imprisoned within his mother. For thirty- 
four years more did he stay there, until having vainly 
invoked the aid of the sun, of the moon, of the stars, he 
set to work to procure his own flberty, and having opened 
a passage by force through his mother's side, came forth 
to the day, falling headlong into the sea. Here he wan- 
dered for eight years until at last he came to shore on a 
tongue of land without trees and without a name. Thus 
was Vainamoinen, the eternal singer, the powerful magi- 
■cian, born of the daughter of the air. 

Rune ii. After some years Vainamoinen thought of 
•causing the earth to be covered with plants and trees. 
For this he called on the youth Sampsa Pellervoinen* son 
of the field, who sowed plants and trees of every kind. 
And these all sprang up and grew except the oak, the tree 
•of God. Vainamoinen noticed this, and called five sea- 
maidens to mow and heap up the vegetation. Tursas, an 
evil genius of the sea, set the heap on fire. Then under- 
neath the ashes sprouted and grew the beautiful tree ; 
grew till it touched the sky, darkening sun and moon 
with the thickness of its foliage. But Vainamoinen 
resolved to hew down the tree which robbed the earth of 
celestial light, and he begged his mother Luonnotar to 
send him from the waters some one who could do this. 
And lo, there emerged from the waters a little man as tall 
as one's thumb, all dressed in copper, with an axe in his 
belt. Vainamoinen was astonished and mocked at him, 
but the Httle man suddenly changed into a giant, who 
touched the clouds with his head. With three strokes of 
his axe he overthrew the huge tree, and having cut it 


into logs threw them into the waters, which carried 
them northwards to the shore of Pohjola. Now vegetation 
throve in the warmth of the sun, and singing birds of 
every kind enhvened the woods and the flowering fields^ 
But among all these beautiful and useful plants, the bar- 
ley alone had not yet sprouted. Vainamoinen gathered 
many seeds of it, but a bird's voice told him that they 
would not grow unless the trees were burned and de- 
stroyed. Vainamoinen immediately cut down all the 
trees except a birch which he left as a shelter for the 
birds. The eagle, grateful for this thoughtfulness, set fire 
to the trees that had been cut down. Then, when the 
seeds had been sown and rain obtained by prayers to the 
supreme god Ukko, the barley sprang up and grew. 

Rune iii. Vainamoinen, the eternal rune-maker, sang 
divinely, and his songs recounted, with profound and 
unattainable wisdom, ancient legends and the beginnings, 
of all things. His great glory spread far and wide. The 
Lapp Joukahainen heard of him and was filled with envy. 
He decided to go and measure himself against Vainamoi- 
nen, and notwithstanding the opposition of his father 
and mother, set out. Having found the great singer he 
challenged him to single combat in song and wisdom. 
Vainamoinen agreed to hear him, but then mocked at his 
scanty learning and trivialities. The Lapp took offence 
and provoked him insolently. Then Vainamoinen begins 
to sing songs of most powerful magic which sink the Lapp 
into the marshy soil. Joukahainen prays for mercy, offer- 
ing him gifts of every kind if he will call back the terrible 
magic words and liberate him. But Vainamoinen takes 
no notice of his offers and continues until the Lapp, who 
has already sunk so low that his mouth is on a level with 
the roots of the plants, offers him his own sister, Aino, ta 
be his servant. Vainamoinen is softened by this promise. 
By a fresh song he takes off the spell and sets free the- 
Lapp, who returns home humbled and sad. With much 


weeping he tells his mother what has happened, and the 
promise he has made. His mother consoles him, rejoicing 
that her daughter should become the handmaid of the 
great Vainamoinen. But Aino, her daughter, weeps de- 
spairingly because she is forced to leave her maiden hfe 
and her father's house. Her mother comforts her with 
wise words. 

Eune iv. Aino, the beautiful maiden, was in the wood 
picking birch boughs when Vainamoinen met her and 
claimed her as his own. But the maiden grew vexed, 
repulsed him, and throwing away her pearl necklace and 
beautiful bridal ornaments, ran off weeping. When 
her father, brother and sister questioned her she said she 
was crying because she had lost her fine ornaments ; but 
she told everything to her mother, who comforted her 
and begged her to put on the beautiful dresses and adorn 
herself with the precious jewels that had belonged to her 
mother and had been given to her that she might be the 
flower and joy of the family. But the maiden remained 
weeping in great affliction, seeking out lonely places to 
think over her sad lot. Then she told her mother that 
she was continually crying because she would not, could 
not, be the wife of an old man, the support and guardian 
of one who tottered in decrepitude. Nevertheless she 
took the beautiful clothes, she put them on and she 
adorned herself with gold, with silver, and with silk. 
But in the extremity of her anguish she invoked death as 
her deliverer. And she fled away, over field and forest 
and desert heath until she reached the sea ; where, be- 
nighted, she rested upon the shore. At dawn she observed 
three maidens bathing in the waves, and wished to join 
them. She took off her clothes, swam out towards a rock, 
and climbed up on to it ; but hardly had she done so when 
the rock shook and plunged headlong into the abyss, 
carrying the maiden with it. Thus perished the gentle 
dove, with heartrending words on her lips. Who carried 


the evil news to the mother *? It was neither the bear^ 
nor the wolf, nor the fox ; but it was the hare. She ran,, 
she leaped hastily along until she reached the women's 
bath. They were rejoiced and took her to make a feast 
of her, but the hare spoke and uttered words of dismay. 
Tears ran from the poor mother's eyes to her feet, so 
many tears that three rivers sprang from them, with three 
waterfalls and an island in the middle of each, and on 
each island a mountain, and on the peak of each mountain 
a birch tree. On the top of each birch tree was a cuckoo, 
and one of the cuckoos sang love ! another bridegroom ! and 
a third joy ! The poor mother found the song of those 
birds too sad, and she took means to hear it no longer. 

Rune V. Vainamoinen wept much when he heard the 
fate of the maiden, and thinking how he could get her 
again, he went to ask Untamo (god of dreams) where was 
the abode of the maidens of Vellamo (the wife of Ahti, 
lord of the waves). When he knew this, he went thither 
with his fishing boat, and, having thrown the hook, drew 
out a fish. He examined it, and thought that he had 
caught no maiden of the waves but a simple salmon. He 
took out his knife and was preparing to open the fish and 
make it ready for his meal, when it slipped from between 
his fingers and again plunged into the waves. And from 
the waves the fair Aino, who had become the maiden of 
Vellamo, addressed him and mocked him because he had 
not recognised her, but had taken her for a salmon. The 
aged Vainamoinen sadly besought her to return to him 
once more, but he never saw her again, and however 
much he dredged with silken nets, he never after that 
got anything but fish. The aged singer was very sad at 
this, and one day, as he was talking to himself about it in 
great desperation near his house, he thought of his mother 
who would have advised him had she been alive. " Your 
mother is ahve," she said to him, rising suddenly from the 
tomb ; and she advised him to go to the land of Pohjola„ 


where he would find girls even more beautiful than the 
one he had lost ; let him choose one of them, the most 
lovely, the best of all, for himself. 

Rune vi. Vainamoinen followed his mother's advice 
and set out on his journey towards Pohjola. Meanwhile 
the Lapp Joukahainen nourished a fierce hatred against 
him. Having made himself a mighty bow he lay in wait 
for Vainamoinen wherever he thought he would pass on 
his journey to surprise and kill him. His mother tried to 
dissuade him from slaying the lord of song, the fount of 
every joy, but in vain ; hate and the thirst for revenge 
were more potent than any reasoning. Having laid an 
ambush, he let fly his arrows. The first two missed their 
mark, but the third hit the horse and Vainamoinen fell 
into the sea. A tempest immediately arose, enveloped 
him in the waves and carried him far, far away. For 
eight years the hero wandered in the power of the waters. 
Joyful and triumphant, Joukahainen returned home,boast- 
ing to his mother of what he had done. But she reproved 
him severely. 

Rune vii. Driven hither and thither by the billows,. 
Vainam5inen felt his strength ebbing away. But when 
he had begun to despair, a huge eagle, flying overhead,, 
spied and recognised him. Having heard the story of his 
misfortunes, the eagle, in token of gratitude for the tree 
which he had left standing that the birds might take 
shelter in it, offered to save him and carry him to Pohjola. 
So he got on to the back of the powerful eagle, which 
flew away towards the region of Pohjola, alighted on the 
sea-shore, put down his burden and soared away again 
among the clouds. Alone, in wretched plight, in a strange 
land, Vainamoinen wept and moaned aloud. Pohjola's 
fair-haired servant-maid, who had risen before daybreak 
to do her work, was throwing the sweepings into a field 
at some distance from the house, when she heard cries- 
and lamentations. She ran and told Louhi, the Lady of 


Pohjola, who heard them as well, and going to the spot 
whence they came, found Vainamoinen trembling and 
crying, in the swamp. When he had told her his name, 
she took him with her, washed him, fed him, and exhorted 
him to remain in her hospitable dwelling. But the hero 
could not bring himself to do this, and longed to return 
to his own country. Louhi, the Lady of Pohjola, pro- 
poses to give him the means of returning home, if he can 
make the Samj^o for her. If he makes it, she will also 
bestow on him a beautiful maiden. Vainamoinen de- 
•clares himself unable to make the Sampo, but in his 
country there is the cunning smith Ilmarinen who will 
certainly know how to do so, for he made the vault of 
heaven. To him let her give her beautiful maiden. And 
the Lady of Pohjola gave Vainamoinen her red horse and 
her sledge and sent him away, exhorting him not to raise 
his head, nor to stand up, unless his horse were tired or 
the night had come on ; if he did so, ill luck would betide 
him. Thus Vainam5inen took leave of the gloomy, misty 

Kune viii. On his way home, Vainamoinen saw the 
maiden of Pohjola, beyond description beautiful, dressed 
in white, seated on the vault of the sky, leaning on the 
rainbow, as she wove a web of gold and silver on a 
silver loom with a golden shuttle. Vainamoinen, over- 
whelmed by her beauty, spoke to her and begged her to 
come down to him, to come into his sledge with him. 
But the girl had no wish to take a husband. At last she 
said that she would come if he could split a horse-hair 
with a blunt knife and if he could make an invisible knot 
with an egg. Vainamoinen succeeded in these and other 
difficult trials. At last the virgin of Pohjola told him that 
she would come down for him who should make a boat 
with the fragments of her spindle and of her shuttle and 
should launch it without touching it. Vainamoinen set 
to work ; but on the evening of the third day the evil 


genii Hiisi and Lempo turned aside the stroke of his 
axe, and the axe came down on to his knee and wounded 
it deeply. The blood gushed forth in torrents. In vain 
did the hero try to staunch it with his magic songs ; he 
did not remember the rune for wounds inflicted by iron. 
He harnessed his horse to his sledge and set out in search 
of some one who knew the spell and could heal the painful 
wound. He stopped at the first house he came to, but no 
one knew it there ; at the second, with no better success ; 
but in the third he found an ancient greybeard who agreed 
to help him, saying that with his magic words he could 
arrest the course of greater things than blood. 

Rune ix. Vainamoinen entered the hut of the old 
man, who was astonished at the quantity of blood that 
welled up from the wound. The words of the spell he 
knew were not enough to heal it ; he must know the 
origin of iron. That I know, said Vainamoinen ; and he 
immediately pronounced a long rune on the origin of that 
metal and all the incidents connected with its history, and 
on Ilmarinen who was the first to conquer it. As soon as 
he knew the origin of the metal which had produced the 
gash, the old man set to work and recited the magic song 
for the wounds produced by iron. Then he closed the 
wound, and with the help of one of his sons compounded, 
from an oak tree, a balm able to fasten together wood, 
stones and rocks. With a magic song he apphed it and 
healed Vainamoinen's knee, calmed the pain and bound 
up the injured part. Then Vainamoinen, healed, and 
with his strength restored to him, thanked the Supreme 
Being for his safety and deplored the foolhardiness with 
which he had undertaken the construction of a ship such 
as God alone could make. 

Rune x. Vainamoinen resumed his journey on his 
sledge, and when he saw his country again, the lovely 
borders of Kalevala, he cursed the Lapp who had declared 
that he would never more be seen alive. By the power 



of his song he caused a fir tree to rise as tall as the sky 
itself. Its crest was covered with flowers, its branches 
were of gold, and the moon and the constellation of the 
Great Bear went and placed themselves in its highest 
branches. Then, as he proceeded, he heard the sound of 
Ilmarinen's forge, and went thither. He told him the 
story of his journey to Pohjola and of how he had pro- 
mised the Sampo in exchange for the beautiful maiden. 
Ilmarinen was vexed when he heard that he had liberated 
himself by a promise of him and his work, and declared 
he would never go into the misty Pohjola, the curse of 
heroes. But the cunning Vainamoinen then told Ilmari- 
nen about the beautiful fir tree there was near by, on 
whose crest the moon and the constellation of the Great 
Bear had disposed themselves. Ilmarinen was incredu- 
lous, and not till he had seen the marvel wuth his own 
eyes would he be convinced. At Vainamoinen's instiga- 
tion he climbed into the tree to get the moon and the 
stars. But when he was well off the ground, Vainamoinen 
by a magic song raised a wind so violent as to blow 
Ilmarinen off the tree and carry him away to Pohjola. 
Louhi, the Lady of Pohjola, met him, and when she heard 
who he was, received him with joy. Then she dressed 
her daughter in most splendid robes, and asked Il- 
marinen if he would make the Sampo and win the lovely 
maiden. Ilmarinen set to work at once, made the forge 
and blew up the smelting furnace. First of all there 
came forth a bow made of gold, silver and copper, but 
this was not what he wanted, and he threw it into the 
fire'; then a golden boat with a copper rudder, but this 
did not satisfy him, and he threw it into the flames again. 
Then a beautiful cow appeared with golden horns, but 
that did not please him either, and he threw it back into 
the furnace. Then came a ploughshare of gold, copper 
and silver, but neither was that what he wanted. At last 
the Sampo appeared, the beautiful variegated lid. On 


one side was a flour mill, on the other a salt mill, and on 
a third a mill for coining money. The Lady of Pohjola 
was overjoyed and hid the precious Sampo in a rock of 
copper which had its roots one in the water, one in 
the earth, and one in the hill on which the house stood. 
Then Ilmarinen demanded the beautiful maiden. But she 
wished to remain a maiden and to fulfil the duties which 
she owed to her mother. Ilmarinen was sad, and was 
seized with a longing to see his country again. The 
Lady of Pohjola helped him to return thither, giving him 
a beautiful ship and ordering the wind to waft him quickly 
to his native land. As soon as he reached home, Ilmarinen 
narrated what had occurred to Vainamoinen. 

Kune xi. The time has now come to speak of Lem- 
minkainen, the youth of Saarela, who was also called 
Ahti and Kaukomieli. Lemminkainen was blooming and 
handsome, brave and enterprising. But he had one great 
fault: he was too fond of women. Now there was in 
Saari a very beautiful girl, the charming KylHkki, of good 
birth. She lived with her parents, and refused every 
offer of marriage. She had refused the sons of the sun, 
moon and stars. Now -bold Lemminkainen was seized 
with the desire to conquer the reluctance of the lovely 
maiden. Trusting to his attractions he harnessed his 
sledge in spite of his mother's dissuasions and galloped 
towards Saari. But just as he was entering the place 
triumphantly, attracting the glances of many maidens, 
the sledge overturned, and the girls laughed heartily, 
mocking him. At this he took great offence, and swore 
to revenge himself. He immediately began to insinuate 
himself into the assemblies of the girls, to be present at 
their dances and amusements, and it was not long before, 
beautiful and attractive as he was, there was but one 
virgin left in Saari, and she was the most lovely of all, 
Kyllikki, the delicate flower whom no man could please. 
To his entreaties she always opposed a haughty resistance. 


But one day Lemminkainen surprised her while she was 
dancing with her companions, took her up in his arms, 
placed her beside him on the sledge, and carried her off. 
Her prayers availed nothing : he spoke to her so sweetly 
of love that the fair one yielded and promised to become 
his bride on the condition that he would never undertake 
any warlike enterprise. He swore not to do so, but ex- 
acted in return a promise from her that she would never 
wander through the village for dance, game or amusement. 
She also gave her word, and then the joyful hero spurred 
his horse and took his lovely bride home to his mother, 
who received her with affectionate rejoicing. 

Kune xii. Lemminkainen and his bride Hved happily 
together. But one day, Lemminkainen being out fishing, 
the beautiful Kyllikki forgot her promise, went into the 
village and mingled in the dances and games of the young 
women. Her husband heard of it, for his sister told him. 
His anger was hot and furious. He at once declared that 
he would arm himself and go to fight against the land of 
Pohjola. Vain w€re the prayers of Kyllikki and his 
mother. To Pohjola he would go, in spite of their 
forebodings, at Pohjola he would seek another wife 
who should turn a deaf ear to the blandishments of the 
maidens. He took a comb and hung it from the ceil- 
ing, saying : When this comb shall drip blood, I shall have re- 
ceived a mortal wound. Then, having put on strong, magic 
armour, and taken a wondrous sword and horse, he set 
out on his perilous adventure. At the first and second 
houses he came to he could not even find any one capable 
of unharnessing his horse. Then he reached a third, and 
by virtue of his magic power, entered it unseen of dogs 
and guards. Looking about, he found that it was full of 
magicians, seers, wizards who were singing the magic 
runes of Lapland with the Lady of Pohjola. He came 
down among them unexpectedly and raised such mighty 
songs of magic as to disperse them all, mocking and 


destroying young and old, heroes and warriors. One only 
did he spare, out of scorn, an old shepherd, who, angry at 
finding himself despised, determined to avenge himself, 
and went and lay in wait for the joyous Lemminkainen, 
the handsome Kaukomieli, on his way back to his own 

Rune xiii. Then Lemminkainen begged the Lady of 
Pohjola to give him the most beautiful of her daughters. 
She refused, because he had already a wife. But he said 
he did not care for her and wanted to get rid of her. Then 
the Lady of Pohjola said that she would not give him her 
daughter unless he should overtake on foot the elk belong- 
ing to the evil genius Hiisi. Lemminkainen had no snow- 
shoes, but he caused some to be made by the Lapp smith 
Lyylikki, and having put them on, took his iron-shod 
stick and his bow and arrows and set out to look for the 
elk, which Hiisi with his evil spirits had made expressly 
that it might never be overtaken. Lemminkainen caught 
sight of it, and followed it through marsh, lake, desert 
and forest, overturning everything that came in his way, 
until he reached the farthest boundary of Lapland. At 
last he came up with it, stopped it and fastened it to 
a tree ; but the elk broke loose and fled away again. 
Lemminkainen pursued it, until at last he was obliged to 
stop because the straps of his snow-shoes broke and his 
stick was shattered. He altogether lost sight of the elk. 

Rune xiv. Lemminkainen did not despair of succeed- 
ing in his enterprise, but sought another way out of his 
difficulty, asking the aid of the forest gods, Tapio and 
Mielikki. He recited the magic song of the hunters and 
set out afresh. In the forest, the very dwelling-place of 
Tapio, he repeated the song again, and with the help of 
the gods caught and bound the elk of Hiisi. Then, 
having sung the song of sacrifice, he asked the Lady of 
Pohjola for her daughter. But she imposed a new con- 
dition : that he should bridle the fiery horse of Hiisi. 


With the aid of Ukko, the supreme god, he succeeded in 
this enterprise too. The Lady of Pohjola then imposed a 
third condition, that he should kill with an arrow the 
swan that lives on the black waters of the river of Tuoni, 
lord of the dead. And Lemminkainen went down into 
the abysses of Manala, the abode of the dead. But there, 
near the river, lay in wait for him the evil-minded shep- 
herd whom he had despised, and when Lemminkainen 
came near, this shepherd pulled from the waters a mon- 
strous serpent and hurled it against him. The viper 
penetrated into the very belly of the hero, and he died, 
thinking on his mother. Then the shepherd threw him 
into the waters of the black river, and Tuoni, the lord of 
the dead, cut him to pieces with his sharp sword and 
strewed his limbs on the stream. Thus perished the gay 

Rune XV. Kyllikki and Lemminkainen's mother were 
sad at receiving no news from him. And lo ! Kyllikki 
noticed one day that the comb her husband had left was 
dropping blood. They were both overcome with grief; 
but the mother lost no time in setting out towards Poh- 
jola. The Lady of Pohjola at first gave riddling answers, 
but at last narrated the facts about her son, and how he 
was now gone to kill the swan on the river of Tuoni, and 
was not yet returned. The mother immediately started 
to look for him, asking trees and roads, sun and moon 
whether they had seen him. And from the sun she 
learned her son's sad end. She begged the cunning smith 
Ilmarinen to make her a raft of iron, and having persuaded 
the god Jumala to cast a sleep upon the savage dwellers 
of the infernal regions, she launched the raft on the river 
of Tuoni and found in the waves the trunk and the scat- 
tered limbs of her dead son. She put them together and 
made up the body again, but the life was wanting. Then 
she recited the magic song of the veins, and the blood cir- 
culated and the body revived, but speech was still wanting. 


Then she recited the song of the balms, addressing Mehi- 
lainen (the bee), the graceful winged creature that reigns 
over the flowers ; and the active little Mehilainen helped 
her. After several vain efforts she raised herself to the 
skies, and in the store-house of God, the supreme creator, 
of omnipotent Jumala, drank in much vivifying balm. 
With this the mother anointed her son's limbs, and he, 
as though awakening from a dream, rose and spoke. He 
told his mother how he had perished by the hand of the 
shepherd, defenceless, because he knew not the origin of 
serpents. His mother reproved him for his boldness in 
venturing among the Lapland wizards without knowing 
it, and repeated it to him. But Lemminkainen was not 
satisfied. He thought of the maiden of Pohjola and of the 
swan he was to have killed. His mother turned him away 
from such thoughts, and took him back with her to the 
quiet of his home. 

Eune xvi. Vainamoinen, the eternal rune-maker, was 
busy constructing a ship, and Sampsa Pellervoinen, son 
of the field, had undertaken to procure him the wood for 
it. After having applied in vain to a poplar and to a pine 
which declared themselves unfit for the purpose, he had 
found an enormous oak which he had cut down and sawn 
into innumerable planks. With these Vainamoinen had 
set to work at his difficult task, helping himself out with 
his magic songs. But when he came to give it the finish- 
ing touch, putting in the prow and the stern, he found 
he did not know the necessary song. He wanted three 
words of it; nor could he find them, however much he 
sought them. In vain he looked on the head of the 
swallows, on the neck of the swans, on the back of the 
geese, under the tongue of the reindeer ; he found a num- 
ber of words, but not those he needed. Then he thought 
of seeking them in the kingdom of Tuoni, in Manala, the 
country of the dead. He went thither and asked the 
daughters of Tuoni for a raft to cross the black river. But 


luhy do you co7ne doivn here, asked the daughters of Tuoni, 
if you are not dead ? After many lying answers Vainamoi- 
nen at last told them the true reason of his coming. The 
daughters of Tuoni disapproved the foolhardiness which 
led one not yet dead to visit the country from which 
none ever returns ; nevertheless they gave him the raft. 
The lady of the land of Tuoni offered him drink, but he 
refused, for he saw frogs and worms in the vessel. He 
told her why he had come ; but she replied he should 
never have the words, nor should he return again among 
the living ; and she caused him to fall asleep. The son 
of Tuoni threw into the river an immense net which an 
old man andean old woman had made, so that Vainamoi- 
nen might never get away again. He saw his danger, 
however, changed his form, and darting through the black 
water like an alga, like a serpent of iron, passed through 
the net of Tuoni and got away. Arrived in the land of 
the living, he advised men never to trust themselves in 
the dwellings of Manala in the abysses of Tuonela whence 
no one returns ; and he related the torments reserved for 
the wicked. 

Rune xvii. So Vainamoinen returned among the living. 
But still he did not know how to find the three words. 
Then a shepherd advised him to search in the mouth, in 
the belly of Antero Vipunen, the giant and powerful 
magician. Difficult was the road that led to him : first 
over the points of women's needles, then over those of 
men's swords, and finally over the sharpened edges of 
heroes' axes. Ilmarinen, the wondrous smith, made him 
shoes, shirt and gloves of iron, and a staff of steel which 
should help him in the undertaking ; but he dissuaded 
him from the enterprise as a vain one, because the great 
Vipunen was dead. Nevertheless the hero went. The 
giant lay underground with all his songs within him ; and 
trees of every kind grew over his head. These Vainamoinen 
cut down, and planted his staff in the giant's mouth. 


The giant awoke, opened his huge mouth, and Vainamoi- 
nen approaching, sHpped into it, and was swallowed. As 
soon as Vainamdinen reached Vipunen's enormous sto- 
mach he began to think how he could get out again and 
at the same time obtain the magic words. So he built a 
ship and sailed in it up and down the inside of the giant ; 
but this made no impression on him. Then he thought 
of changing himself into a smith, and with what iron he 
had he made a smithy and began to work hard, hammer- 
ing iron on the anvil, torturing the entrails of Vipunen, 
who, feeling he could bear it no longer, broke out into 
magic songs to free himself from the torment. But Vai- 
namoinen replied that he was very comfortable and would 
not go away unless he first heard the secret words that 
he wanted. Then Vipunen unlocked the treasure of his 
magic songs, of his powerful, prodigious runes. Many 
days and many nights he sang ; and the sun and the moon 
•and the waves of the sea and the waterfalls stood still 
to hear him. Then Vainamoinen agreed to come out. 
Vipunen opened his enormous jaws, and the hero issued 
forth ; and having thus learnt the magic words he needed, 
finished his ship without the use of the axe. 

Eune xviii. As soon as the ship was finished, Vainamoi- 
nen made ready to go to Pohjola and ask the hand of the 
fair maid of that misty country. Shortly after he had 
set out, Annikki, Ilmarinen's lovely sister, spied him from 
afar, and approaching the ship asked him where he was 
going. Vainamoinen at first answered her with lies. 
But in vain ; he was finally obliged to reveal to her the 
true intent of his journey. Then Annikki ran as quickly 
as possible to her brother Ilmarinen to tell him that 
another was going to Pohjola to fetch the bride that 
should have been his. Much vexed was the cunning 
smith. He took the bath which his sister prepared for 
him ; he clothed himself in the beautiful raiment she put 
ready for him ; he told his servant to harness his finest 


horse to the sledge ; and having implored the help of 
Ukko, set out for Pohjola. He overtook Vainamoinen, 
and the two agreed in a friendly manner, that they would 
use no violence, but that the maiden should belong to 
the one whom she should herself choose. And so each 
went on his way. Now the watch-dog begins to bark at 
Pohjola. The Lord of Pohjola goes to find out the reason, 
and sees the ship approaching on one side and the sledge 
on the other. They ask the lots and find that these pre- 
dict wooers. The Lady of Pohjola recognises Vainamoi- 
nen and Ilmarinen from afar, and asks her daughter 
which of the two pleases her most. Against her mother's 
counsel, she prefers youth and beauty to age and wisdom, 
and chooses Ilmarinen. Vainamoinen arrives first, asks. 
the maiden if she will be his, and shows her that he has 
performed the task she set him : the ship made without 
the use of the axe. But she refuses him, the seafarer has. 
no attractions for her. 

Rune xix. Immediately after Vainamdinen, Ilmarinen 
entered the house of the Lady of Pohjola, and found her 
alone. She told him that she would not give him her 
daughter, unless he first ploughed the field of vipers. 
Then he saw the girl and told her the matter, and she 
taught him how he should set about it, and so he ploughed 
the field of vipers. Other difficult tasks he performed at 
the behest of the Lady of Pohjola with the maiden's help : 
he put a bridle on the bear that lives in the infernal 
regions of Tuoni, and led him away ; without net or other 
fishing tackle he caught and carried off the great pike 
from the black infernal river. And then the Lady of 
Pohjola made no more opposition. She yielded her lovely 
daughter to Ilmarinen, and the betrothal took place with 
song and with the poetical forms customary on such 
occasions. Vainamoinen sadly returned to his own coun- 
try, reflecting how foolish a thing it was that he, an old 
man, should seek a young bride. 


Eune XX. Splendid and solemn was the wedding-feast 
celebrated in Pohjola. One ox only was slaughtered for 
the banquet, but that was an immense one. The swallow 
took a day to fly from horn to horn, the squirrel a month 
to run up its tail. No one could have laid it low had not a 
miraculous old man come out from the waters and offered 
his strength for the deed. And a house was built in Poh- 
jola so huge that from the floor one could not hear the 
cock crowing on the roof, nor from the door the dog 
barking at the farther end of the room. The Lady of 
Pohjola undertook to provide the wedding guests with 
beer. An old man sang the magic song of its origin, and 
the brewing was at once begun. Lemminkainen saw the 
steam from afar, the steam of the beer prepared for the 
wedding, and shook with envy. Then the Lady of 
Pohjola made the bread and the oatmeal porridge (talk- 
kuna). But the beer, swelling and foaming, demanded a 
singer, with threats demanded him, and none was at 
hand. The Lady of Pohjola immediately sent out on all 
sides to bid the guests. She sent her hand-maid to call 
the ancient Vainamoinen, the sweet singer, to call all the 
men of Pohjola, and all the men of Kalevala ; all except 
the hght-hearted Lemminkainen, for he was too bold and 
quarrelsome and wanton. 

Kune xxi. The wedding began. With much pomp, 
and followed by a numerous retinue, the bridegroom 
arrived at the bride's house, and then the wonted songs 
were sung, and the feast was spread. Joyously they 
feasted while Vainamoinen, the eternal singer, sang the 
runes of grace and of blessing, praying Jumala, the all- 
powerful creator, for happiness and prosperity on the 
house of the newly-married couple. 

Eune xxii. Then the Lady of Pohjola said farewell to 
her daughter, that she might leave her parents' house to 
follow her husband. Sad, very sad was the picture which 
her words called up of the life of a married woman, so 


different from that of a maiden living securely under her 
father's roof. Much afflicted by her mother's sayings was 
the bride, and broke out into loud waiHngs. Then an old 
servant of the household began to speak, and insisting on 
what the mother had said, uttered words of still greater 
discouragement, so that the new-made wife shed bitter 
tears over her unhappy lot. But lo ! a boy raises his 
voice and comforts the bride greatly, telling her of the 
advantages of her new state, of the virtue, valour, wealth 
of the young bridegroom. 

Eune xxiii. And now who will give counsel to the young 
bride ? Counsel which shall guide her conduct, point out 
her duties, and instruct her in her new hfe ? Kalevatar, 
the woman of the race of Kaleva, will give counsel to the 
bride of Ilmarinen ; and long did she speak with the wealth 
of advice and wisdom that come of long experience. 
But then an old beggar woman rose. Great evil had she 
suffered in her married life, bitter disappointments, un- 
feeling persecutions of father-in-law and mother-in-law, 
cruel ill-treatment. Forced to fly from her husband's 
roof, grown a stranger to that of father and brother, she 
was reduced to wretchedness and beggary. All these 
woes did the miserable hag relate to the young bride. 

Kune xxiv. Then came the turn of the bridegroom to 
be instructed in the duties of a husband towards his wife. 
And long was the list of instructions that was given him, 
of wise warnings, of prudent counsels. And lo, an old 
vagabond rose, and began to tell the bridegroom the story 
of his own married life, how he reduced his wife to respect 
and obey him. At last came the heartrending moment of 
parting, when bride and bridegroom must set forth for their 
own abode. Touching were the words which the weeping 
bride uttered as she bade farewell to her mother, to her 
father, to her brother, to the house in which she was born, 
to every animal and object which was dear to her. Then 
Ilmarinen placed her in his sledge, and with a last greet- 


ing to that land, amidst the lamentation of the children 
who saw their gentle friend go from them, he urged his 
horse to a gallop, and in three days reached his home. 

Kune XXV. Great was the joy of the family at the 
return of Ilmarinen with his bride. Affectionate and 
solemn her reception. Lokka, the mother of the won- 
drous smith, addressed words of love and praise to the 
young groom, then turned benignly to the bride, whom an 
ill-conditioned lad had provoked with insolent words, and 
spoke with her long and in terms of approbation, welcom- 
ing her to the new family which was already hers. Then 
the banquet began, and Vainamoinen gladdened it with 
his presence, and with his wise and beautiful songs. He 
lauded the master and mistress of the house, the ruler of 
the feast, the bridemaidens and the guests. After this 
he entered his sledge and, still singing, turned homewards. 
And behold the sledge suddenly hit against a stone and 
broke to pieces. To make another he needed a centre-bit 
from the infernal land of Tuoni. No one would go down 
there for him, so he went himself for the second time and 
got the centre-bit. He made a new sledge, and soon 
reached his home. 

Eune xxvi. Unwonted sounds and a secret presenti- 
ment assured Lemminkainen that a wedding was being 
celebrated in Pohjola, and fierce anger seized him. He bade 
the women get ready a bath and his finest garments, for 
he would go to Pohjola, to the wedding at Pohjola. His 
mother and his wife dissuaded him from going to a feast 
to which no one had bidden him, but he spurned their 
woman's counsel. His mother set forth the grave dangers 
he ran by the way. She told him of the eagle of fire, of 
the fiery abyss, of the bear and of the wolf, of the barrier 
interwoven with serpents, and other terrible, obstacles ; 
but he was too bold to feel fear, confident that he should 
overcome everything. He took his trusty armour, his 
bow and his mighty sword, harnessed his best battle- 


horse to his sledge, and after his mother, with wise 
counsels, had accompanied him for some little way, he set 
off at full speed. True, he encountered on the road the 
terrible obstacles of which his mother had warned him, 
hut with his skill in magic arts and songs he came safe 
through them all until he reached the last, the great ser- 
pent, which he tamed with the verses that charm serpents. 

Rune xxvii. Lemminkainen arrived at the abode of 
Pohjola when the wedding feast was already ended. 
Neither was he received in any flattering manner. He 
complained that he had not been invited, and asked for 
something to drink. They brought him beer, but in it 
were worms and reptiles. Then he reviled the Lord of 
Pohjola; who caused a river to arise, that he might 
•drink from that. Lemminkainen, ever ready, conjured 
up a bull to drink the river ; but the wolf which the Lord 
of Pohjola then caused to appear devoured the bull. Long 
did this struggle of spells last, until the Lord of Pohjola 
seized his sword and challenged the joyous Lemminkainen 
to single contest. He accepted gladly, and the two went 
to the open field to measure their strength in fierce fight. 
Soon the head of the Lord of Pohjola rolled bleeding to 
the earth. The hero stuck it on a pole and asked the 
Lady of Pohjola for water to cleanse his hands. But she, 
furious beyond measure, called up by her arts a whole 
army of armed and threatening heroes, before whom even 
the bold Lemminkainen thought it well to draw back. 

Rune xxviii. Thinking to save himself by flight, Lem- 
minkainen sought his horse and sledge, but they had dis- 
appeared. In the last extremity of danger he found a 
way to change himself, by his magic arts, into an eagle, 
and rose high into the air. He met a vulture which re- 
cognised and addressed him. It was the Lord of Pohjola 
whom he had beheaded ; but he did not dare measure 
his strength with the eagle's, and Lemminkainen soon 
reached his own land, took on his original form, and went 


home sadly and dejectedly. His mother questioned him 
repeatedly, but he refused at first to open to her the reason 
of his melancholy. At last, however, he told her every- 
thing, and how there was an army ready to kill him to 
avenge the death of the Lord of Pohjola. How should he 
hide himself? His mother, after thinking for some time 
and abandoning several methods of concealment, decided 
on one ; but before telling him of it wished him to promise 
her never more to engage in battle, and to this the crest- 
fallen hero readily agreed. Then his mother told him of 
a far-away island, ten seas off, where his father had once 
lain hidden in time of war. Let him take his father's 
ship, sail thither, and remain there quietly for two or three 

Kune xxix. Having furnished himself with stores for 
his journey and said farewell to his mother, the joyous 
Lemminkainen, the handsome Kaukomieli, sailed towards 
the distant isle of Saari, where he was hospitably received 
by the beautiful maidens who were on the seashore and 
saw him arrive. And he raised such wondrous songs, and 
performed such marvels by his spells, that he won the 
admiration of all. Beautiful and seductive, wanton and 
inchned to pleasures, there was soon no woman in the 
island, whether maiden, wife or widow, whom he had not 
bent to his will. One only, an old maid who lived in a 
remote part of the island, he left unnoticed, and she was 
wroth, and told him she would wreck his ship on his 
voyage home. The pleasure-loving Lemminkainen had 
no time to appease the old maid's anger, as indeed he 
wished to do. By this time all the men in the country 
had taken up arms against him and were plotting his 
death. His ship had been burnt, and his magic songs 
alone enabled him to build another without delay. On 
this he quickly fled from the danger that threatened him. 
The lovely maidens of the island wept and were very sad 
at his departure, and he also deplored the loss of their 


love. But lo, as he was sailing on, a great tempest arose. 
The ship, tossed and shattered by the waves, was swal- 
lowed up by the deep ; the young hero, at the mercy of 
the waters, at last reached an unknown island. There he 
found a good woman, who comforted him with food and 
drink and then gave him a ship on which to continue his 
journey. Thus Lemminkainen reached his fatherland 
and came again to the beloved haunts of his boyhood. 
But he no longer found his house, his beautiful dwelling- 
place. Instead of it, there was a heap of ashes. And 
where was his mother ? Where was his loving nurse ? 
With much anxiety and with cruel fear he searched 
around, and noticed some footsteps which led him to a 
humble cabin. There he found his mother, his loving 
nurse. Joyful at seeing him again, she told him that the 
men of Pohjola, inflamed to madness against him, had 
come to kill him, and not finding him had destroyed 
everything. She had hardly found safety by hiding in 
the forest. The handsome hero comforted his mother, 
promising to build her a house better than the last one, 
and to punish the men of Pohjola. Then he told her how 
happily he had lived at Saari, and left it only because the 
men had grown jealous of him, fearing he might pervert 
their women, and had driven him away with threats. 

Kune XXX. Lemminkainen's ship was full of sorrow 
and bewailed its idleness, for its lord ao longer took it out 
to war. The handsome Kaukomieli comforted it, pro- 
mising that it should soon be called out into action, and 
told his mother that he was going to wage war on Pohjola; 
neither could he give heed to the counsel of his loving 
nurse, who tried to turn him from his intent. He sought 
himself a comrade, however, and his choice fell on the 
hero Tiera, who had long been his companion in arms. 
Tiera's father and brother did not wish him to go ; but he 
responded nevertheless to his friend's call, armed himself, 
and embarked with him. The Lady of Pohjola became 


aware of their journey and of its purpose ; and by a 
magic song, created great cold, which she sent against the 
sea where they were saiHng. Already the waves were 
freezing, and the heroes themselves were on the point of 
turning to ice when the handsome Kaukomieli uttered in 
anger the long and powerful song that tames the cold. 
Thus he forced it to give way. But the sea was frozen, 
and the two heroes left the ship and pursued their journey 
on foot. Wandering about without a guide they reached 
an unknown country and fell into despair, for they saw that 
they were lost. Tiera bewailed the sadness of his lot, and 
the handsome Kaukomieli cursed his enemy. But then, 
imploring the divine aid, urged on by suffering and anxiety, 
he retraced his footsteps and made his way back in safety, 
followed by Tiera, to the place he had started from, to his 
own home. 

Rune xxxi. Kalervo and Untamo were two brothers. 
Untamo, who was surly and easily roused to anger, came 
to blows with his brother for a question of fish caught in 
his waters, but neither overcame the other. Then, furious 
because one of his sheep had been killed by Kalervo's dog, 
he gathered armed men together and attacked him, mas- 
sacring his family and burning his house. The men 
spared the life of a woman who was pregnant, and carried 
her with them as a slave. In the house of Untamo she 
brought forth a son whom she called Kullervo. On the 
third day the child tore off his swaddling-clothes and broke 
up his cradle. Untamo hoped to make a hero of him ; 
but at three months the child, who already spoke, began 
to think of avenging his father's griefs and his mother's 
anguish. Untamo tried to get rid of him. They put him 
into a barrel and threw him into the sea ; but when they 
went to see what had happened to him, they found him 
quietly seated on the waves fishing with a copper rod and 
a silken line. Then they thought of consuming him on a 
burning pyre ; but they found him unscathed and calm, 



playing with the blazing logs. They hanged him on a 
tree and went to look at him, but they found that he was 
amusing himself by cutting all kinds of figures in the 
bark. Unable to get rid of him they thought they would 
attach him to themselves by all kinds of promises. When 
he got bigger they gave him a child to take charge of. 
On the third day the child was dead. Then Untamo sent 
him to cut down a forest, for he wanted to turn it into 
cultivated land. KuUervo destroyed it so completely that 
no seed would ever spring up there. So Untamo, when 
he saw that everything KuUervo put his hand to turned 
out badly, took him into Carelia and gave him to Ilmari- 
nen, the cunning iron-beater, in exchange for a little old 

Eune xxxii. KuUervo, son of Kalervo, the fair-haired 
handsome youth with the blue stockings, Hved with II- 
marinen, and asked his lord's beautiful but evil-minded 
wife for work. She told him off to herd the flocks, and 
gave him as his provisions a loaf she had prepared ; in the 
midst of which she had, from pure malignity, hidden a 
stone. After begging the gods in a long prayer to protect 
the cattle, and after also imploring Otso (the bear) not to 
attack them, she drove the herd out of doors, and bade 
KuUervo lead it to the grazing-places. 

Kune xxxiii. The fair-haired KuUervo, bewailing his 
lot as he pastured the cows and the bulls, invoked the 
protection of the sun. When it was time to eat, he pulled 
the loaf from his bag and began to cut it with a knife. 
The knife struck against the stone and broke. This knife 
was a treasured memory of his father. Hot was the 
shepherd's wrath against his perfidious mistress, and he 
began to turn over plans of revenge. The rook raised her 
voice from the depths of the wood and suggested a way 
of avenging himself, by turning the herd into wolves and 
bears. KuUervo followed the rook's counsel, and re- 
turned home at milking time blowing on a far-sounding 


horn that he had taken from a slain bull. His mistress, 
the wife of Ilmarinen, was astonished at hearing so loud 
a noise, and was glad when she saw the cows returning ; 
but when she stooped to milk them the wolf and the bear 
sprang upon her. She reproved the shepherd, but he up- 
braided her for the stone in the bread and the broken 
knife. Feeling that she was being devoured, she begged 
him with many prayers to take off the spell, and prayed 
Ukko instantly to punish him. But her words were 
vain, and she lay dead before the threshold of her house. 
This was the end of the lovely bride whom Ilmarinen 
had so ardently sought and desired, had won with so 
much toil. 

Rune xxxiv. After what had happened, KuUervo- 
thought how he might place himself in safety, and left II- 
marinen's house at headlong speed. Bitterly did Ilmarinem 
weep when he came forth from his smithy and beheld the 
piteous sight. Meanwhile Kullervo wandered on thinking 
over his sad lot, an orphan without house or home ; and 
he knew not whither to turn. He thought he would 
go and have his revenge on Untamo. But lo, the Old 
Woman of the Thicket appears to him, wearing a blue 
veil. She asks him what he intends doing; and then 
makes known to him that his father and mother are not 
dead, tells him where they are, and puts him on the right 
road to go to them. He immediately sets out and finds 
them. When he has declared himself, his mother bursts 
forth into words of joy because she has found her son 
again, but at the same time into expressions of grief 
because she has lost a daughter and has no hope of finding 
her. The girl had left the house to gather blackberries 
and had never returned to it. Far and wide had her 
loving mother sought her in affliction. She had climbed 
the hills and called her, but the hills replied : Never 
more ivill thy daughter return to her mother s house, never 


Rune XXXV. Now that he was at home again, Kullervo 
began to think seriously of ordering his Hfe, of Hving 
wisely. But rebellious nature thwarted his good intent. 
He tried to work and took a boat to go fishing, but he 
rowed so vigorously that he broke the boat to pieces. 
Kalervo then set him to beat the water for the purpose 
of driving the fish towards the nets ; and he beat it with 
so much energy that he reduced it to mud, the nets to 
tow, and the fish to a sticky paste. Then Kalervo was 
discouraged and bade him go pay the taxes, for perhaps 
travelling would suit him better. And the handsome 
Kullervo with his golden hair and his blue stockings, set 
out on his sledge and paid the taxes. As he was return- 
ing, behold a beautiful maiden came gliding towards him 
on her suksit (snow-shoes). . He held in his horse and 
invited her to come into his sledge ; but she refused 
scornfully. Fair-haired Kullervo went on and met 
another maiden who likewise met his desire with scorn- 
ful refusal. A third fair one did he meet, with her 
breast adorned with a pewter buckle ; and she answered 
him as the others had done. Nevertheless he took her 
;and by force placed her in the sledge. She resisted, but 
Kullervo drew out from a casket splendid gowns and belts 
and buckles of gold, and the maiden submitted. When 
the next day dawned the fair maiden who had been de- 
flowered asked the bold youth who he was and of what 
family. He told her he was Kullervo, son of Kalervo, and 
recounted to her all his story. Then he wanted to know 
in his turn who she was. The girl answered him frankly 
that she was the daughter of Kalervo : she had gone out 
blackberrying and had lost her way. In vain she had 
sought it, in vain had she called aloud. Wandering about 
in desperation she had held herself as dead, and would 
that she had really died ! Hardly had she finished her 
story than the beautiful maiden whom her own brother 
had deflowered, sprang from the sledge and running off at 


full speed plunged headlong into the torrent, where she 
found refuge and pardon in the bosom of death. Then 
Kullervo wept, wept bitterly. Tormented by shame and 
remorse he cursed himself and the sad, unlucky hour of 
his birth ; for he felt that he had been born only to mis- 
fortune. In despair he hastened home and gave vent to 
his anguish in his mother's bosom. He told her every- 
thing, and she grieved with him. He decided to die by 
whatsoever death he might find, so as not to outlive his. 
unworthy deed, his unhappy victim. His mother per- 
suaded him to live, and told him of a place where he could 
hide, where he could wipe out his shame through long 
years of penance. But Kullervo shrank from this. 
Untamo, their cruel enemy, was still alive and unpunished. 
This idea crossed his mind and he determined to go 
against Untamo and seek death on the battle-field, in 
manly combat. 

Kune xxxvi. Kullervo was bent on making war against 
Untamo, although his mother sought to dissuade him. 
But he gave heed neither to father, to mother, to brother, 
nor to sister, but he said farewell to them, asking each 
one whether he would bewail his death. No replied the 
father, and no said also the brother and the sister. The 
mother alone said that she would weep for him ; and with 
how many, many bitter tears ! And the young hero set 
out wearing his blue stockings. He set out over heath 
and field, blowing his shepherd's horn. And lo, a messen- 
ger came to tell him of his father's death ; but it grieved 
him not. Then another announced to him the death of 
his brother ; but that also did not grieve him. Neither 
did the young hero grieve when a third messenger in- 
formed him that his other sister was dead. But when 
another messenger overtook him and told him that his. 
mother was dead, then he wept bitterly and ordered her- 
to be buried with all loving care ; for he could not himself 
turn back from the adventure he had undertaken. As he 


went on his way he invoked Ukko, the supreme deity, 
begging him for a wondrous sword of destruction. And 
he received it, and conquered Untamo and killed him and 
quenched all his race and overturned his houses and 
reduced them to ashes. Then he returned to his father's 
house, but he found it silent and deserted and the hearth 
cold. He fell to weeping in his loneliness and called on 
his mother, saying : " Oh, gentle mother, what hast thou 
left thy son ? " Neither did he hope for a reply. But his 
mother, awaking in her tomb, heard the voice of her son, 
and from amid the dust of the grave replied that she had 
left Musti, the faithful dog, to be his companion in the 
wild wood, in the chase, that he might get himself food. 
Kullervo took the faithful dog and went towards the 
forest. He happened to find and recognise the place 
where he had deflowered his sister. All nature seemed 
to bew^ail the lot of the unhappy maiden : no heather 
bloomed there, there was no leaf, no plant that had not 
dried up and withered. Then Kullervo stayed his steps, 
unsheathed his sword and asked it whether it would find 
a pleasure in tasting the flesh of the guilty man, in drink- 
ing the blood of him that is infamous. And the sword 
answered : Hoiu should I not taste luith 2^leasure the flesh of 
■the guilty man, and drink the blood of him that is infamous, 
■when I taste the flesh and drink the blood of the innocent ? 
Then Kullervo, son of Kalervo, the bold youth with the 
blue stockings, placed the hilt of his sword on the ground, 
and throwing himself upon the point drove it deep into 
his breast. This was the end of the man of ill-luck. Old 
Vainamoinen uttered wise words as to the way of bringing 
up children when he heard of the sad end of the young 

Rune xxxvii. Silent was the smithy, idle the hammer, 
for the excellent smith Ilmarinen was overwhelmed by 
sorrow and mourning. Unbearable was his widowhood 
and his lonehness. A bride, a gracious companion must 


he have to take the place of her whom he had lost ; such 
was his dream. A bold thought, born of longing, flashed 
upon his mind. He took a block of gold and silver, blew 
up the smithy fire with the full force of his bellows, 
melted the precious metal to form his companion for him- 
self. First there came out a golden sheep with fleece of 
silver. Not satisfied with that, he threw it again into 
the fire. He added metal and a colt issued forth. 
Displeased with this, he threw it back into the flames 
and added still more precious metal. Then a beauti- 
ful maiden appeared, with head of silver, hair of gold, 
and of gold her exquisitely formed body. With cease- 
less hammering he made her hands and feet, ears, mouth 
and eyes. But motionless remained the hands and 
the feet, speechless the mouth, deaf the ears, fixed the 
eyes. He put her into his own bed and lay down beside 
her. But cold was the fair maiden ; and cold so icy, 
streaming from her side, took possession of him who lay 
by her that neither wraps nor furs were able to overcome 
it. Then the excellent smith reflected that that woman 
was perhaps better suited to old Vainamoinen than to 
himself. He went and offered to the eternal rune-maker 
the beautiful maiden of gold to be his bride for ever, his 
dove which should rest in his arms. But old Vaina- 
moinen, astonished at such a gift, refused it, as being un- 
worthy a man of his birth to seek a bride of gold and 
silver. The splendour of gold, he said, gives no loarmth, and 
cold is silver, for all its sheen. 

Eune xxxviii. Ilmarinen the eternal iron-beater left his 
statue of silver and gold there and set out for Pohjola, 
to ask the hand of another maiden. But the Lady of 
Pohjola was angry when she heard the fate of the first 
one. She repented of having given her to him, neither 
would she grant him a second. Ilmarinen turned to the 
maid herself ; but was answered with harsh words by a 
youth who stood near, and received a refusal from the 


maiden. Then he was wroth. Quick as lightning he 
took her in his arms, put her on his sledge, and carried 
her off at headlong speed. Long did the maiden weep, in 
vain thinking how she might escape him, in vain protest- 
ing that she would rather follow the hare, rather the fox, 
rather even the wolf. Ilmarinen bit his lip and urged 
on his horse to a gallop. When they arrived at a village, 
weariness and sleep overcame him. Whilst he slept 
another man put him to shame. When he awoke Il- 
marinen observed this, and would have run through the 
woman with his sword. But the sword said it was not 
made to kill the weak. Ilmarinen contented himself with 
changing her, by means of his magic songs, into a sea- 
mew, which should cry from the rocks in the midst of the 
tempests. On his return, Vainamoinen asked him why 
he came back so sadly from Pohjola. Pohjola, replied 
Ilmarinen, is a hajjpy land since it possesses the Sampo, spring 
of all tvealth. But then he told him about the maiden 
whom he had turned into a sea-mew. 

Rune xxxix. Vainamoinen proposed a great undertak- 
ing to Ilmarinen, to go to Pohjola, get possession of the 
Sampo and carry it off. Ilmarinen did not conceal the 
great difficulty of the enterprise, so firmly fixed in the 
soil was the Sampo, guarded in so inaccessible a spot. 
Vainamoinen was not to be turned aside, and thought of 
preparing a ship. But Ilmarinen found the sea dan- 
gerous, preferable the way by land ; and in this they were 
agreed. The cunning smith made for Vainamoinen a 
wondrous sword which would cleave stone and iron. 
Then he made a breastplate. They also sought out a colt 
with short mane, and had found it when they heard a 
moan. It was the ship complaining because it was left 
idle although so beautiful and well built. Vainamoinen 
comforted it and promised that it should soon be of ser- 
vice. But can the ship move without some one to launch 
it, can the ship move without rowers ? No, replied the 


ship, loitliout all that I cannot move. And can you hear a great 
weight ? Yes, I can, replied the ship. Then Vainamoinen, 
by the power of his magic songs, launched the ship into 
the sea and raised a bevy of youths, of maidens, of old 
men, who, each one in his turn, fell to rowing. But the 
ship did not move. Only when Ilmarinen took the oars- 
did she glide off majestically, with Vainamoinen at the 
helm. They arrived at a promontory, where was a 
wretched village. There Lemminkainen lived in great 
povert}^ sad and humbled. He saw the ship come near,, 
recognised Vainamoinen and Ilmarinen, and learnt the 
object of their journey. The fearless hero was attracted 
by the difficulty and danger of the undertaking and begged 
them to receive him among them. Vainamoinen willingly 
consented, and the three heroes rowed off in the power- 
ful steel- armed ship whose strength was Vainamoinen' s 

Rune xl. Joyful songs did Vainamoinen sing as they 
sailed along, and the girls on the neighbouring banks 
heard them with wonder. They came to dangerous rapids, 
and Vainamoinen pronounced a magic song : the Song of 
the Waterfalls. Across the furious, foaming waves, across 
the threatening rocks passed the ship unhurt. But lo, 
beyond the rapids the ship stopped, neither would she 
move for all the force of the rowers. They looked for the 
hindrance which prevented her, and they saw an immense 
pike on whose back the ship had caught. Lemminkainen 
and Ilmarinen tried to kill the monster, but in vain ; the 
sword broke to pieces. Vainamoinen alone with his 
wondrous sword succeeded in slaying the enormous fish. 
He dragged it out of the water and hewed it in pieces ; 
the head rolled upon the deck, the rest of it sank to the 
bottom. The girls cooked the head of the monstrous 
fish and feasted off it. Vainamoinen examined the bones 
that remained. What cayi ive do with the bones ? he asked 
every one, but no one could tell him. He fell to work. 


and with those bones he made the first kantele, spring of 
melody, of infinite joy. From the jaws he made the 
resonant body of the instrument, from the teeth the pegs, 
and from the hair of the horse Hiisi he made the cords. 
But who will know how to play the new instrument 
which all admired ? Vainamoinen gave it to every one 
to try, to old and young, maidens and youths ; but no one 
knew how to draw joyous harmony from it. Lemminkai- 
nen tried, but produced no pleasant sound. They landed 
and sent the instrument to Pohjola, but there too, it 
gave forth only harsh and strident notes. The men of 
Pohjola sent it back whence it had come, and it was 
again put into the hands of its author, the eternal rune- 

Kune xli. Vainamoinen the old and strong, the eternal 
rune-singer, got ready to play and went up to the top of a 
hill. There he sat on the singer's stone, and having 
invited all who loved the joy of sweet songs, of melodious 
strains, to listen to him, he ran his fingers over the strings 
with mighty cunning ; and the first notes were as a spell, 
a universal ecstasy. Squirrels and lynxes and elks and 
wolves and bears and every animal from the wood came 
to hear him. The god Tapio himself, lord of the wood, 
and his austere spouse in holiday attire with blue stock- 
ings, with red ribbons, listened intently from the tops of 
the trees. And, in dense clouds, in myriads, did birds of 
every kind fly up, from the eagle to the lark, from the 
swan to the duck. Attentive, ecstatic, did the fair virgins 
of the air listen to him, seated some on the rainbow, some 
on purple clouds ; and so also did Kuutar, daughter of 
the moon, and Paivatar, daughter of the sun. In innu- 
merable shoals did fish of every kind, large and small, 
emerge from the waters, and Ahto, lord of the blue waves, 
gave ear in wonder to the new miracle. The virgins of 
the waters let their golden combs fall in their transport, 
their silver brushes with which they smoothed their 


beautiful long hair. Vellamo, the supreme lady of the 
waters, leaning in ecstasy against a rock, was bathed in 
sweet drowsiness. And all human beings, of every age 
and sex, listened with emotion and shed tears of tender- 
ness : old men and children and sucklings wept, brides 
and bridegrooms wept, the marriageable and those already 
married, girls and boys, maidens and matrons. And 
carried out of himself, intoxicated by his own song, by 
the sweetness of his own melody, old Vainamoinen him- 
self wept. Tears many and large ran down his beautiful 
face, down his broad breast, rolled down over his knees, 
his feet, to the earth, rolled along till they reached the 
sea, and plunged into its depths. And Vainamoinen 
offered a valuable gift to whoever would go down there, 
would gather them together, and bring them back to him. 
The crow tried but did not succeed. Then the little blue 
duck came, dived down into the water, found the tears of 
Vainamoinen at the bottom of the abyss, brought them 
back and put them into his hand. But behold a marvel : 
the tears were no longer tears but pearls ; beautiful, 
precious pearls, an ornament for a king, joy for great 

Kune xHi. The three heroes re-embarked, Ilmarinen 
and Lemminkainen taking the oars, and Vainamoinen 
the helm. And when they arrived at Pohjola they drew 
the ship up on the beach and made known to the Lady of 
Pohjola their intention of taking their part of the Sampo. 
But the Lady of Pohjola declared the thing impossible ; 
she wanted to keep it all for herself. Then Vainamoinen 
sang on the kantele so sweet a strain that all the people of 
Pohjola fell into a deep sleep. By their magic arts the 
heroes opened the gates of the copper mountain where 
the Sampo was hid, and with the help of a powerful bull 
uprooted it. They put it on the ship and sailed swiftly 
off, discussing as to where they should carry it, and in- 
voking a favourable wind. On the way the joyous Lem- 


minkainen had a great longing to hear songs, but the- 
wise Vainamoinen did not think the time fitting and 
refused. Then Lemminkainen began himself to sing. 
His harsh and strident voice carried far and frightened a. 
stork, which, rising into the air with much clamour, flew 
off towards Pohjola. The people of Pohjola awoke at the 
noise, and Louhi, the Lady of Pohjola, saw that the^ 
precious Sampo had been stolen. By her magic arts she 
raised a thick fog, which wrapped round the ship of the 
three heroes, but Vainamoinen was able to scatter it with 
his sword. She called up the sea-monster Iku Turso to- 
throw the heroes headlong to the bottom of the abyss, but 
Vainamoinen succeeded in frightening him so much that, 
he never more came back to molest travellers on the road. 
At last she prayed to Ukko, lord of the gods, to raise the 
winds and a tempest. The fury of the waves burst upon 
the ship, and to Vainamoinen's great grief swept away the 
kantele. The heroes were almost discouraged by the 
threatening fury of the tempest, when they were saved by 
a prayer which Vainamoinen put up to Ahto, lord of the 
waters, and by the way in which Lemminkainen strength- 
ened the ship. 

Bune xliii. The Lady of Pohjola, when she saw her 
arts were vain, fitted out a ship, a great war-ship, loaded 
it with warriors, herself embarked upon it, and sailed 
away after the heroes to get back the Sampo. The heroes: 
saw the ship nearing them rapidly with all sails set. It 
looked like a distant cloud ; but they recognised Louhi,. 
the Lady of Pohjola, with her people, and knew the 
danger which threatened them. It was useless to work 
harder at the oars. They saw themselves overtaken and 
lost, when Vainamoinen, with his cunning arts, caused a 
rock to arise, upon which the ship of Pohjola struck and 
broke into a thousand pieces. The Lady of Pohjola then 
transformed herself quickly into an immense eagle, took 
all the warriors under her wings and under her tail,, rose 


into the air, overtook the heroes' ship and settled on the 
mainmast. Ilmarinen was terrified and uttered a prayer. 
In vain did Lemminkainen hammer the bird's talons with 
mighty sword-strokes. Vainamoinen alone succeeded in 
dislodging it with the rudder, and all the warriors and the 
great eagle itself fell upon the deck. While she was 
trying to get possession of the Sampo she overturned it 
into the sea. The Sampo broke into many pieces ; some 
fell to the bottom of the sea, which thus became a spring 
of wealth ; others were thrown by the waves upon the 
land, which they rendered prosperous for ever. True, 
Louhi threatened to destroy this prosperity by her spells, 
hiding the sun and moon, sending the bear ; but Vaina- 
moinen paid no heed to her threats. She went away 
covered with scorn, carrying with her only a few pieces of 
the Sampo. Therefore Pohjola of the Lapps has ever 
been a sad, poverty-stricken country. Vainamoinen 
gathered together the fragments of the precious Sampo 
in his sweet land of Suomi, in his beauteous Carelia, pray- 
ing Jumala, the god who creates, to be its protector and 

Eune xhv. Then, since his enterprise had succeeded 
thus, Vainamoinen wished to give himself up to joyous 
songs and sweet melodies. But the kantele he had con- 
structed was at the bottom of the sea. He begged Ilmarinen 
to make him a great iron rake to seek the kantele in the 
abyss of the waters. And the rake was made, but all 
search was vain : Vainamoinen could not find the har- 
monious instrument. Sadly was he turning away home 
when he heard a birch tree lamenting and bewailing the 
sadness of its lot : always barked, cut about, deprived of 
its branches, without ever an hour of comfort. Vaina- 
mdinen consoled it and told it that henceforward it too 
should know what joy was. And from its wood he made 
a new kantele, furnished it with pegs and screws of gold 
and silver, and made the strings with hairs taken from a 


beautiful maiden who was awaiting her bridegroom. 
Then the strings began to vibrate, intoning sweet songs, 
and all nature was moved and shaken by them : moun- 
tains and rocks stirred, the fields smiled, houses and roofs 
and doors and beams trembled, the trees of the forest 
bowed, every animal stood still, overcome by wonder and 
enthusiasm, every human being, with smiles or with 
tears, bent before the mighty power of those unwonted 

Rune xlv. The Lady of Pohjola could not contain her 
envy, her wrath, at the prosperity which Kalevala en- 
joyed now that it possessed the Sampo. She sought how 
she might put an end to such happiness and bring down 
on the land curses and death. A wicked, horrible creature, 
the most despicable of the daughters of Tuoni, sprung 
from hell and the regions of death, was with child ; for a 
tempestuous wind had embraced her in a lonely field. 
Her time was fulfilled, but the wretched being could find 
no spot to be delivered in, although she sought diligently. 
At last she went to Pohjola, where Louhi received her 
kindly and helped her in her need. She brought forth 
nine children and called them Pleurisy, Colic, Gout, Con- 
sumption, Ulcer, Itch, Cancer, Plague. The ninth had no 
name ; it was the evil genius, Envy. The Lady of Pohjola 
persuaded this fierce, forbidding family to go and settle 
among the people of Kaleva; and it was a fjreat curse. 
Weighed down by sickness of every kind was the people 
of that once so happy land ; and extinguished would it 
have been had not Vainamoinen found a remedy. He 
withdrew into the bathing-room, and there recited the 
powerful verses that exorcise ills. Then with nine balms 
he cured the sick, invoking the benevolence of the creator, 
and thus saved the people from death, Kaleva from per- 

Rune xlvi. The Lady of Pohjola, enraged at finding 
that she had sent so great a scourge in vain, cast about 


to find another. She sent the bear to destroy flocks 
and herds in Kalevala. Vainamoinen caused II- 
marinen to make an enormous boar spear, and went in 
chase of the bear. He killed it and brought it back in 
triumph to the people of Kaleva, who joyfully and re- 
spectfully welcomed the beautiful Otso, the dear apple of 
the forest, the honey-footed. And the ceremonies befitting 
such an event were all observed with songs which have 
remained national, expressing regard and affection for the 
terrible yet valuable creature. The skin having been re- 
moved, a sumptuous, animated funeral banquet was held 
in his honour, and Vainamoinen sang the origin and story 
of this lord of the forest. Then the teeth were taken out 
of the head, and the skull hung on a high fir tree. Finally 
Vainamoinen sang the song of thanks to Jumala, the 

Rune xlvii. Vainamoinen was playing the kantele, and 
the moon came down to the top of a birch tree to listen, 
the sun to the top of a fir tree. Louhi, the old toothless 
Lady of Pohjola, caught the moon and the sun, carried 
them to her land of darkness, and there hid them within a 
rock, within a mountain. Then she took away every fire, 
every light from the tttvat (dwellings) of Vainola, from 
the pirtit (households) of Kalevala. Ukko, lord of the 
gods, was astonished and inconvenienced by so great a 
darkness. He looked everywhere for the moon and the 
sun, but in vain. At last he drew his sword, struck one 
of his nails with it, and thus produced a spark in the 
height of heaven. He put the spark into a golden bag 
and gave it to one of the maidens of the air to rock gently, 
to take care of and make into another sun, another moon. 
But the maiden soon grew negligent, and the beautiful 
spark fell headlong from the sky. Vainamoinen and II- 
marinen saw it fall from afar, and went in search of it. 
They had to cross a river as broad as the sea, and there- 
fore made a boat for the purpose. Then they met II- 


matar, chief of the virgins of the air. When she knew 
their intent she told them the unfortunate results of the 
fall of the fire from heaven, and the great evils and the 
deaths produced by it : how the celestial fire had 
ended by falling into the water, putting everything into 
confusion, until a trout swallowed it, and then in its 
agony was swallowed by a salmon, which, agonised in its 
turn, was devoured by a pike ; and this was still in great 
sufifering, as it could find no one to swallow it. When 
Vainamoinen and Ilmarinen heard this they made a great 
net to catch the pike. They threw it into the waters and 
searched everywhere, but the pike was not taken. The 
fishes were astonished at the failure. Is the noble race of 
Kaleva extinct ? they asked each other. No, said Vaina- 
moinen, the race of Kaleva is not extinct ; if one man dies, 
two better than he are born. 

Kune xlviii. To get an enormous net, better than the 
first, Vainanioinen caused flax to be sown. It sprouted 
and grew in a night, and women and youths set to work 
to spin and to weave, and a huge net was soon made. 
Long was the fishing. Ilmarinen and Vainamoinen found 
help in a little man who rose from the waves, and under- 
took to beat the water with a huge pole, chasing the fish 
towards the net. At last the much sought for pike was 
taken. But how to cut it open ? The child of the sun 
would have undertaken it, if only he had had his father's 
knife. And lo, the knife fell from the sky, and the child 
of the sun opened the pike and the salmon that was in it 
and the trout inside of that, and behold at length the 
precious spark. The child of the sun took it into his 
hand, but it suddenly escaped him, burnt Vainamoinen's 
beard, Ilmarinen's arm and cheeks, and fled away, setting 
fire to woods and forests. But the eternal singer followed 
it and caught it. Thus fire and light shone again in the 
abodes of Kaleva, warming and illuminating them. Il- 
marinen plmiged into the water near a rock, repeated the 


verses for the exorcising of fire, and was healed of his 

Kune xhx. Still the moon and sun were wanting. 
Plants, beasts and men felt their need. How to do with- 
out them, how to live in their absence? Youths and 
maidens appealed to Ilmarinen, the cunning smith, who 
made a moon and a sun of gold and silver, and fastened 
them on the top of a pine and of a fir. But Vainamoinen 
had disapproved the madness of the undertaking ; and in 
fact this moon and this sun gave out no rays whatever. 
Then Vainamoinen decided to have recourse to the lots, 
to try to find out by means of divination where the sun 
and the moon were. The lots revealed to him that they 
were in Pohjola hidden in the mountain of copper, in the 
rock of stone. Vainamoinen quickly went to Pohjola, 
swimming across the river, because the men of Pohjola 
would give him no boat : nay, they came to meet him 
armed, ready to hinder his intents. Unsheathing his 
powerful sword, Vainamoinen affronted them all and 
slaughtered many. But when he reached the place where 
the sun and the moon were hidden, he could not open the 
nine gates of iron, could not slip back the hundred bolts 
of iron, and went away humbled. Bold Lemminkainen 
reproved him for not having sought his companionship ; 
but Vainamoinen begged Ilmarinen to make for the en- 
terprise keys and wedges and a strong iron trident. 
While he was fashioning them, behold the Lady of Poh- 
jola came flying up in the form of a grey vulture to ask 
him about his work, to see what he was preparing. 
Frightened at what she saw and heard, she went away, set 
free the sun and moon, and then, changing herself into a 
dove, returned to Ilmarinen to tell him what she had done. 
Ilmarinen came out of his smithy, and when he saw the 
heavenly bodies again shining in the sky, he called Vaina- 
moinen, the eternal rune-maker, who greeted with words 
of great beauty the return of the givers of all life, of all joy. 



Kune 1. Marjatta, the beautiful maiden, had long 
lived in her father's house in such chastity that she would 
eat no flesh but that of virgin animals, v^^ould milk no 
cows, would have colts only for her sledge. She was 
herding the sheep one day when a blackberry asked her 
to gather it, and when she tried to do so, threw her to 
the ground. Then it mounted along her as far as her 
mouth, descended into her breast, and she found herself 
with child. Although she told her mother, told also her 
father, how the matter had happened, and said that she 
should bring forth a hero mightier than Vainamoinen 
himself, her parents turned her away in scorn. She sent 
her serving- woman Piltti to Sariola to ask Kuotus (Herod), 
the ugly man who ivears a shirt (ruma paitulainen), lord of 
the land, for a bathing-room where she might be delivered ; 
but she received a scornful refusal. Euotus' wife told her 
of a stable on Mount Kyto whither she might go in her 
misfortune. Marjatta went thither tormented by the 
pangs of travail ; and there in a horse's stable, on the 
straw, she brought forth a man child ; who, however, 
shortly after disappeared suddenly. Marjatta asked the 
sun and the moon, but the sun only was able to tell her 
that the babe was in the marsh, sunk in it up to his waist. 
Marjatta went thither, found him, and brought him back 
home. "When the mother wished to baptise him, old 
Virokannas refused unless he should first be examined 
and pronounced upon. Old Vainamoinen, the eternal 
rune-maker, was charged with this task, and when he 
heard the story of the babe's birth and of the marsh, he 
decided that it should be put to death. But the babe, 
who was only two weeks old, began to speak, and with 
bitter words reproved the old rune-maker for the injustice 
of such a sentence. Then old Virokannas baptised him, 
and named him lord and king of Carelia. Thus humbled, 
Vainamoinen went away along the shore, and there sang 
for the last time. Then he made a boat, and embarking 



on it sailed away to the far-off horizon to wait till his 
time should come round again, till Suomi, the beautiful 
country of Finland, should again feel the need of his 
benefits. But his kmitelc he left to his lovely fatherland, 
his solemn songs he left to his children to be to them a 
joy for ever. 

Closing song of farewell. 




Among the Finns of the Russian Church in the govern- 
ment of Archangel {Vienan Iddni, i.e., department of the 
Dviim) is to be found a more extended and complex form 
of the Song of the Sampo. This song, under one form or 
another (we give a specimen of it in the appendix), fur- 
nishes the fundamental note to the v^hole of the Kalevala. 
Its various parts, distributed throughout, serve as the con- 
I'.ecting thread on which the other songs of various kinds 
and subjects are strung. We here resume the contents of 
the song, quoting the lines of the specimen given in the 
appendix, and indicating the corresponding portions of the 
Kalevala : — 
Rune VI. The Lapp shoots 

at Vainamoinen 11. 1-17 
jf I. (in part). Vainamoinen 

falls into the 
sea, creates - „ 18-66 
„ VII. Vainamoinen ar- 

rives in Poh- 
jola. Request 
for the Sampo „ 67-158 
„ X. Vainamoinen 

sends Ilmar- 
inen to Poh- 
jola ; he makes 
the Sampo and 
returns - - „ 159-245 


Kune XXXVIII. (end). Benefits of the 

Sampo - - 11. 246-256 
XXXIX. Expedition of 

and others to 
get the Sampo „ 257-290 

,, XLII. (in part). Rape of the 

Sampo - - „ 291-349 

„ XLIII. (in part). Pursuit of the 

robbers, etc. - , 350-435 

The following three principal parts may be distin- 
guished : — 

I. The shooting at Vainamoinen, who falls into the 
water and creates. 
II. The arrival of Vainamoinen in Pohjola, demand for 
the Sampo, the making of it. 
III. The rape of the Sampo. 

The parts are thus combined only among the Rus- 
sian Finns, never in Finland. There, the first part or 
Song of the Creation always stands alone, as also does 
the last, the Expedition for the Sampo (Samporetki) or the 
Bape of the Sampo (Sammon ryosto). The middle part is 
altogether unknown in Finland, and is, in fact, nowhere 
found as a separate song. It is a later production in- 
tended to form a link between the other two songs, not- 
withstanding the strange inconsistency that he who has 
made the Sampo should take so much trouble to get pos- 
session of it. Lonnrot also took no notice of this incon- 
sistency when he wove the middle part into his poem for 
the sake of continuity. 

To develop and increase these parts Lonnrot availed 
himself of numerous variants. He also introduced, by 
way of a connecting thread, a considerable number 
of separate songs which might be considered to refer, 
closely or remotely, to the parts in question. He made 


use, too, of songs that have nothing whatever to do with 
what we may call, as do the scholars of Finland, the 
series or cycle of the Sampo (Sampojakso), of groups of 
songs constituting different cycles, which he wove, with 
some adaptation, into the web of the poem. Using as a 
guide Krohn's^ book and such of the variants as have 
already been printed, we will here point out, part by part, 
the various songs of which Lonnrot's Kalevala is com- 

Song of the Creation. 

This part appears in the first edition of the Kalevala 
as a single rune, the first ; in the second edition it runs 
through six runes (i.-vi.). The songs composing these 
runes are as follows : — 

Eune I., 1. Second part of the Song of the Creation, or 
2. Birth of Vainamoinen {Vdindmoisen synty- 
,, II., 3. Ploughing and Sowing of the Earth (Maail- 
man kynto ja kylvo). 
4. The Great Oak (Iso tammi). 
6. The Cultivation of Barley {Ohran viljelys). 

^ Krohn's book being, until all the Variants are published, the only 
source of information on the different songs, I have here reproduced such 
information as exactly as possible, giving when necessary a translation of 
the author's own words. Besides the Variants, J. Krohn and A. Borenius 
undertook the reprint or publication of the First Labours for the Kalevala 
(Kalevelan esitybt). J. Krohn's and A. Borenius' courtesy procured us the 
first two numbers of the work while our own book was printing (Helsingf., 
1891 ; extr. from Suomi). In the first number we find a reprint of the first 
attempt at composition, that of v. Bekker (see above, p. 5), and the publica- 
tion of some of Lonnrot's first attempts, among which a Lemminkciinen 
(1883) of 825 lines and a Vaiiuimoinen (also 1888) of 1867 lines. In the 
second number is published a larger composition of Lonnrot's dating from 
the same year, under the title Vdindmoinen, in 16 cantos and 5052 lines. 
A useful table of the difference between the first and second edition of 
the Kalevala is given by Lonnrot in the first impression of the latter 



Eune III., 6. Competition in Song {Kilpalaulanto). 
,, IV., 7. The Aino-rune (Ainon runo). 

v., 8. The Fishing for the Maid of Vellamo {Vel- 
lamon neidon onkiminen). 
,, VI., 9. First part of the Song of Creation {i.e., the 
Shooting at Vainamoinen, Vdindmoisen 
amimminen) . 

The first canto of the first edition gave : 1. Birth of 
Vainamoinen ; 2. Shooting of the Lapp at him and his 
fall into the water ; 3. Creation of the world by Vaina- 
moinen. The last two parts really exist thus in the songs 
of the people. But the absurdity of the existence of the 
Lapp before the creation of the world seemed to many 
to be too extravagant ; so Lonnrot, in his second edition, 
placed this incident after those of the creation, separating 
one from the other. Nor can he be said to have taken 
any undue liberty in doing so ; for, as Krohn observes, 
these two songs were certainly distinct in origin. It is 
true that the incident of the Lapp's shooting is never 
found now without that of the creation from the egg ; 
but the latter is very often found without the former, and 
that over a vast region : in Esthonia, in Ingria, and in 

In the Song of Creation, in all its known variants, the 
creator is always Vdindmoinen, and this fact Lonnrot him- 
self faithfully follows in his first edition.^ In the second 
he combines the Birth of Vdindmoinen with the Creation^ 
and makes the Virgin of the Air {Ilmen impi) mother and 

The Birth of Vdindmoinen (Vdindmoisen syntyminen) is a 
song altogether foreign to the Song of Creation, whether 

^ He himself says this is the case in the greater part of the variants 
{Litteraturhladet, 1849, p. 6). It is the case, however, in all known vari- 
ants. Krohn supposes (p. .385, note) that he may have found informa- 
tion of another variant with another name for the creator in some prose 


this latter stands alone or whether it is found combined 
with the Song of the Sampo as in the government of Arch- 
angel. It is sometimes popularly united with other songs, 
as with that on the Origin of the Kantele, and oftener with a 
medley formed of the Bivalry for the Bride (Kilpakosinta) , 
the Visit to Vipiinen and the Bajje of the Sampo. But pro- 
perly speaking the song of the Birth of Vdindmoinen stands 
originally alone, and is, even so, very rare. Lonnrot, 
when he introduced these songs into the second edition 
of the Kalevala, followed most closely a variant proper 
to Finnic Carelia. Having, in this edition, attributed 
the creation not to Vainamoinen but to the Virgin of 
the Air, he makes Vainamoinen, too, spring from her. 
Nor arbitrarily : Vainamoinen's mother is sometimes 
called the virgin Iro, sometimes is not even named, 
sometimes by a strange confusion is called the virgin 
of Pohja ; but in certain magic songs {Taudin synty 
Origin of Sicknesses) she is called Ilman impi, the Virgin 
of the Air. 

To Vainamoinen, no longer the first creator, Lonnrot 
assigns, in his second edition, a part in the perfecting of 
the creation. This is the subject of the whole of the 
second rune, which is composed of three different songs, 
popularly sung independently of each other. These are 
magic songs, or special songs for holidays or agricultural 
labours, rather than epic runes. That of the Ploughing 
and Solving of the Earth (Maailman kynto ja kylvo) is almost 
always found as a magic song and goes together with the 
exorcising of wood, intended to heal wounds produced by 
wooden objects. The song of the Great Oak (Iso tammi) 
is very rarely found united with that of Ploughing. For 
the most part it is sung separately, and contains the de- 
scription of the growth of the gigantic tree. Lonnrot has 
joined this on to the song of Pellervoinen's planting. The 
song of the oak is widely diffused throughout the whole 
region of Finnic and Esthonian songs, and has propagated 


itself in an uninterrupted line from the Baltic coasts to 
the borders of Lapland. It presents numerous variants 
and diversities ; of these the most common is that under 
which it figures in the magic song on the Origin of Pleurisy 
{Pistoksen synUj)} The song of the cultivation of barley 
and corn {Ohran viljelys) was still sung forty or fifty years 
ago in some parts of Ingria in an almost entirely pagan 
spring festival. Its contents in most examples are : 
Pikki, Pikka, or Pekko fells a wood to make a clearings 
but leaves a birch tree as a shelter for the birds. A wind, 
either from the north or the south, sets fire to the wood^ 
and old Onni (happiness) sows barley, from which beer is 
made. In other songs and in other variants occur the 
names Sampsa Pellervoinen, Pellon Pekka, and these are 
certainly one and the same thing : the personification of 
the germinating power of the field {pelto, field). Properly 
speaking, the sowing of the trees and that of the barley or 
corn are sung separately ; but examples are not wanting 
in which they are united, and thus Lonnrot can adduce 
the usage of popular singers as a precedent for his own 
combination of them.^ 

After the incidents of the creation should come the 
shooting of the Lapp at Vainamoinen ; but Lonnrot has- 
thought well to insert here a group of runes, some of 
which he had placed in the first edition at the end of the 
poem (runes xxx., xxxi.). These are the runes of the Aino- 
cycle, which, as placed and given in the second edition, 
appeared as a prelude to the Lapp's wrath against 
Vainamoinen, and give the incidents preceding the 
shooting at the latter, narrated in canto vi. This is a 
composition of Lonnrot's own, put together from three 
popular runes quite distinct and independent of each 
other. They are :— 

1 Vid. concerning this and the other variants, Krohn, p. 403 et seq. 

2 Krohn gives them, p. 396 et seq. 


{Kalev., rune iii.) The Competition in Song (Kilpalaulanto). 
{Kalev., rune iv.) The true Aino-rune {Ainon runo). 
{Kalev., rune v.) The Fishing for the Maiden of Vellamo 
(Vellamon neidon onkiminen). 

The Competition in Song exists in the mouth of the 
people as a distinct rune ; if ever it is joined to another 
song, it is united with that of the Sampo, never with that 
of Aino. Aino, or rather Anni,^ is never said to be sister 
to Joukahainen, neither is it Vainamoinen who aspires to 
her hand, but Osmoinen, Kalevainen. The only hint of 
an incipient inclination among the people to unite the two 
runes is the apparition of Anni under the name of Jou- 
kahainen's sister in a few rare specimens of ih.e Competition 
in Song. Hence Lonnrot doubtless drew a reason for his 

The Aino or Anni-rune is really a ballad : it has no 
epic character, and bears no relation to the runes with 
which Lonnrot has joined it. It does not exist popularly 
as Lonnrot has presented it in the second edition of the 
Kalevala, but is a mosaic put together by L5nnrot himself 
from a variety of ballads. As sung by the people, and as 
given in part in the first edition of the Kalevala, its con- 
tents are : Anni, the gracious maiden, goes to the wood to 
make brooms of twigs, and finds young Kalevainen or 
Osmoinen, who abruptly tells her that she is his. She 
replies haughtily, but at home breaks out into weeping 
and lamentation. Her mother bids her go to the aitta 
and deck herself in her finest ornaments. She does so, 
but hangs herself with her mother's golden girdle which 
she finds in the aitta. Follows the description of the 
grief and tears of the mother, as in the Kalevala. In the 

^ Lonnrot has replaced the name Anni by the epithet aino (ainon, the 
only one, dear), thus forming a pretty name. The line runs popularly : 
' ' Anni tytto, aino neito," Anni the maiden, the dear child. Vid. Kanteletar, 
iii., No. Gl. 


first edition, Lonnrot made her throw herself into the sea, 
as being more poetical than hanging ; in the second he 
has made more and better variations, using elements 
drawn from other ballads.^ 

The Fishing for the Maiden of Vellamo (Vellamon neidon 
■onhiminen) is never united by the people with the Aino- 
rune. In one only case has it been put together with the 
Comjjetition in Song, but by chance and without any con- 
tinuity between the two. From the Competition in Song 
comes, too, the lamentation of the fisher with the mother 
and her attempt at consolation, found in most examples. 
So that although the people may be said to have pointed 
out the way for Lonnrot's combination, they certainly did 
not prepare or smooth the road for him. The name of the 
fisher is really Vainamoinen in most examples, but these 
are almost all drawn from Vuonninen in the government of 
Archangel or thereabouts. Elsewhere it is Lemmin'kdinen 
or Kankamoinen, and this is certainly the original form. The 
substitution of Vainamoinen in Vuonninen seems to have 
been suggested by the lact that in other songs, like that on 
the Origin of the Kantele, and in the magic song on fire, 
Vainamoinen is introduced as occupied in fishing. The 
girl is never called Joukahainen's sister, but always the 
Maiden of Vellamo (the sea goddess). Daughter of Ahti (the 
sea god). She is also called the Daughter of the Waters 
and is really divine, not human. In only two examples 
we find the advice given to Vainamoinen by his mother, 
to seek consolation by gomg to look for a bride in Poh- 
jola. This connects the rune with the Biv airy for the Bride 
{Kilimkosinta), and therefore Lonnrot made use of it.^ 

1 Described by Krohn, p. 544 et seq. 

2 The absurdity of Vainamoinen's mother rising from the tomb, as 
Kullervo's does, to console her son, when Vainamoinen is the son of the 
immortal Virgin of the Air, has been accepted by Lonnrot notwithstanding 
that it is not in all the variants, and that, even where it occurs, it is due 
to one of those confusions of names and facts so frequent in oral tradition. 


Vdincimoinen' s First Expedition to Pohjola, Making of the Sampo.. 
(Kunes vii.-x.) 

This part of the Song of the Sampo, which, as we 
before said, is only found in the government of Arch- 
angel, and even there in composition, and in no place as 
an independent song, has been developed by Lonnrot. 
with the help of variants and additions. He has divided 
the argument into two parts, to each of which he has. 
dedicated a rune (vii. and x.) ; and between them he has 
intercalated two runes (viii., ix.), which he has drawn from 
two popular, independent runes, viz., the Wooing of the 
Daughter of the Air {Ilman immen hosinta), and the Woiinding 
of Vdindmoinens Knee {Vdindnwisen polven haava). 

In developing and enlarging this part of the Song of 
the Sampo, Lonnrot has really done nothing but imitate 
and continue the work of its composers, the popular 
singers of the government of Archangel. They put it. 
together by weaving elements from various songs ^ around, 
a motive proper, as Krohn shows, to another song, to the 
Rivalry for the Bride or Kilpahosintar According to some- 

^ We give Krohn's list of them (p. 408) : — 

Rune vii., 133-161 : Morning occupations of the Lady of Pohjola and. 
her servant, from a ballad common along both frontiers. 

Request for a reward on giving him the means of returning home,, 
doubtlessly modelled on tales. 

Rune i. , 333-338 : Ilmarinen has made the sky, from a rune proper- 
to the Finnic territory (concerning which vid. Krohn, p. 392). 

The materials for the Sampo, from the Expedition of Kojonen's soru 
(vid. Krohn, p. 415, note). 

Rune X., 31-42, 113-178 : The fir with the flowering top, and Ilmarineni 
sent to Pohjola by means of the wind ; the first doubtlessly invented, the- 
second perhaps modelled on the passage which, in the song of the- 
Liberation of tlie Swi and the Moon, tells how Vainamoinen was carried by 
the wind to the river of Pohjola. 

Rune i., 83-86 : Description of the maiden who refuses her suitors ;. 
belongs in Finland to the song of the Maiden who sits on the Rainboto- 
(Ilman imman kosinta, vid. Kalevala, rune xxxviii.). 

^ Vainamoinen and Ilmarinen's sister : vid. rune xviii. of the Kalevala.. 


Tariants, Vainamoinen, after his horse has been killed 
and he arrives in Pohjola, makes the Sampo, receives the 
girl as a reward, and carries off the Sampo w^ith him. 
But the best singers speak of two journeys, one in which 
he promises to send Ilmarinen to make the Sampo, as he 
really does ; the other in which he carries off the Sampo. 
Lonnrot has followed the latter version, treating in two 
runes of Vainamoinen's journey to Pohjola (rune vii.) and 
then of Ilmarinen's, who makes the Sampo (rune x.). 

The Wooing of the Maiden who sits on the Rainboiu is the 
■subject of a song that is never found in direct relationship 
with those of the Sampo ; neither is it known in the 
government of Archangel, although the song of the Sampo 
is there found in a more complete form. Lonnrot's 
motive for the union is that the rune in question is always 
united in Finland to that of the Wouml in the Knee, and 
thafc this last is sometimes found at the beginning of the 
Expeditio7ifor the Sampo (Samjwretki). The maiden wooed 
is, according to the Kalevala, the maiden of Pohjola ; 
that is, the same who figures in the song of the Sampo. 
But this is an invention of Lonnrot's to combine that 
rune with the poem. In the songs sung by the people 
she is never called the Maid of Pohjola, but the bride of 
Henkela, TuuHkki, the daughter of Tapio (god of the 
woods), the Fair Woman of Salakarto. Originally, how- 
ever, her true name is Virgin of the Air, as Krohn proves 
when he explains the confusion that gave rise to these 
other names. The Virgin of the Air appears in fact in 
many of the songs as an object of courtship ; but her 
suitors are the child of the Sun, or of the Moon, or of the 
Star. The last obtains her. This form arose in Esthonia, 
travelled thence into Ingria, and into the land of Viborg. 
In Finland the suitor is Vainamoinen, a form certainly 
anterior to the other, but yet not original. 

The song of the Wound in Vdindmoinens Knee and its 
Healing is found united with that on the Origin of the 


Kantele oftener than with that on the Expedition for the 
Savipo. In that case we sometimes find prefixed to it the 
song of the Wooing of the Maiden luho sits on the Rainbow, as 
in the printed Kalevala. But for the most part the rune 
of the Wound in Vdindmoinen s Knee appears separate!}'^ 
both in the Finnic region and in the Kussian ; the com- 
bination of these two above-mentioned runes certainly 
occurred some time after their birth. The song itself is 
quite unknown in Ingria and in Esthonia ; and this proves 
that it cannot be very old. 

Rivalry for the Bride (Kilpakosinta). 
(Kunes xvi.-xxv., xxxvii., xxxviii.) 

The making of the Sampo is immediately followed, in 
the songs of the government of Archangel as in the 
example given in the appendix, by that of the expedition 
undertaken to obtain the Sampo. These songs, however, 
already hint at the promise of giving the Maiden of Pohjola 
in marriage : an argument also found treated indepen- 
dently of the Sampo in special songs, which represent 
the maiden as being asked for by both Vainamoinen 
and Ilmarinen at once. Taking this as his subject, and 
making use of these songs and others like them, Lonnrot 
has given greater variety and range to his poem. He has 
also still further extended it by weaving in with this 
subject the Wedding Runes (runes xix.-xxv.), and two rune 
cycles far removed from that of the Sampo : the runes of 
Lemminkainen (runes xi.-xv., xxvi.-xxx.), and of Kullervo 
(runes xxxi.-xxxvi.). Of these two cycles of runes we 
shall speak separately at the end. Let us here treat of 
the group which is more closely bound up with the 
fundamental subject of the poem ; with the group, that 
is, which has as its principal motive the Rivalry for the 
Brule or Kilpakosinta. The combination made by Lonnrot 
on this motive (we give the titles of the separate runes 
by him combined) is as follows : — 


Eune xvi. Journey to Tuonela {Tuoiielassa kdynti). 
Kune xvii. Journey to Vipunen {Vijmessa kdynti). 
Eunes xviii.-xix. Eivalry for the Bride (Kilpakosinta). 
Eunes xix.-xxv. Wedding Songs (Hddrunot). 
Eune xxxvii. The Golden Maiden (Kultaneito) . 
Eune xxxviii. The Son of Kojonen's Search for a Bride 
-{Kojosen pojan kosinta). 

The Journey to Tuonela (rune xvi.) and the Journey to 
Vipimen (rune xvii.) are introduced as preparatory to the 
runes of the Rivalry for the Bride ; all of them spring- 
ing from the construction of the ship in which Vaina- 
moinen goes to Pohjola to ask for the bride. The Journey 
to Tuonela really belongs to the song on the Origin of Beer 
{Oluen synty)} The beer requires a singer ; Vainamoinen 
offers himself ; his sledge breaks ; he goes to Tuonela 
to get a centre-bit to mend it with. This variant was used 
by Lonnrot at the end of rune xxv. Here, in rune xvi.,, 
he follows a rare variant, certainly corrupt, in which 
Vainamoinen goes to Tuonela to fetch a centre-bit, not 
for his sledge but for his ship ; and another, also rare 
and less ancient, in which he goes to Tuonela in search 
not of a centre-bit but of magic words. With the 
Journey to Vipunen is combined sometimes, but very 
rarely, the Joimiey to Tuoyiela. The latter is also found 
among the various runes combined in some examples 
from the government of Archangel, with the song of 
the Sampo. 

The Jotmiey to Vipimen, always in connection with the 
construction of the ship, ordinarily stands by itself, as it 
certainly did originally. It is very rarely found combined 
with the song of the SampO, but frequently with that of 
the Origin of the Kantele, and its wide diffusion through 
both Eussian and Finnic Carelia proves that it is com- 
paratively ancient. But both are also found separate ; 

1 Vid. Krohn, p. 500. 


and the fact that the Journey to Viiiuncn is so found, 
especially in Finland, whence comes, too, the only ex- 
ample of it already discovered durino^ the last century, 
proves that the union of the runes took place considerably 
after their birth. The Vipunen-rune is, however, always 
united with the building of the ship. The placing of the 
Vipunen-rune, as Lonnrot has done, by way of preparation 
to the Rivalry for the Bride, is not without precedent among 
the people, but it is extremely rare. Ldnnrot has followed 
the Archangel variants. In the eastern variants, Vaina- 
moinen (or Ilmarinen) fells the trees that have grown on 
Yipunen's tomb, awakes him, and obtains from him the 
magic words that he desires (or the repty that Vipunen 
has none to give). 

Vainamoinen and Ilmarinen's Rivalry for the Bride or 
Kilpakosinta is found in the government of Archangel 
united with the song of the Sampo. In a variant from 
Ilomants it is also found united with the song of Vipunen 
and the construction of the ship. Lonnrot's composition 
is thus founded, in general as in this last particular, on 
the usage of popular singers. But, as a rule, the Rivalry 
for the Bride is sung as a separate song. The variants 
from the government of Archangel and from that of 
Ilomants agree in general, but differ in certain particu- 
lars. Very different is the variant furnished by Ingria.' 
Lonnrot's Kalevala here closely corresponds to the com- 
mon variants in the government of Archangel. There, as 
elsewhere, the rune, as sung by the people, does not close 
with the fulfilment of the tasks exacted by the bride, but 
continues to narrate the home-carrying of the bride, and 
commonly, at least in many more complete examples, the 
making of the golden maiden. These incidents Lonnrot 
has introduced in other places : the first in rune xxxviii. (Il- 
marinen's second journey for his bride), the other in rune 

^ Fid. Krohn, p. 125 ct seq. Of the other two he speaks at length on 
p. 459 et seq. 



xxvii., as Ilmarinen's attempt to seek consolation for 
the wife he had lost. 

Properly speaking, according to the Ilomants' example, 
Ilmarinen, while taking his bride home, changes her into 
a sea-gull, because, according to several variants, she was 
unfaithful to him while he slept overcome with fatigue. 
In the more complete examples he seeks comfort after 
this, by making himself a golden maiden (Kultaneito). 
In western Ingria,^ the thing is related differently. Il- 
marinen goes to Saari, but fails to please the maidens of 
the country with the products of his art, and tired of being 
alone, he makes himself a golden bride, whom he then finds 
too cold. Lonnrot has placed this incident of the Golden 
Maiden after the Kullervo runes which he has introduced 
into the poem. He makes Kullervo kill Ilmarinen's wife ; 
and this is not in the Kullervo songs, as we shall see 
further on, neither is it in the special songs of the Kilpako- 
sinta, as we have already shown. He has transposed the 
incident which in these versions of the Kilpakosmta pre- 
cedes that of the Golden Maiden — the changing, that is, of 
the wife into a sea-gull — and has placed it after the Golden 
Maiden, on a second journey undertaken by Ilmarinen in 
search of a bride. Here he has also made use of the 
examples from the government of Archangel. In these, as 
they narrate the incident, we recognise the elements of 
a popular rune very common in Kussian and in Finnic 
Carelia : that of Ivan, son of Kojonen (Jivana Kojosen poika), 
in which we even sometimes find the name Ilmarinen 
alternating with that of Kojonen.^ According to the 
Ingrian versions, the son of Kojonen executes several 

^ I know this version only from Krohn's precis of it, p. 25 et seq. In 
this Ilmarinen appears as already a widower, since his father-in-law and 
mother-in-law are mentioned. 

^ This Finnic rune comes, as Krohn shows, from a Russian bTjlin, 
which narrates an incident concerning Ivan GodinoviS, a boyar at the 
time of Vladimir. Vid. Hilferding, One^skija byliny, pp. 889, 915 et seq. 



difficult and dangerous tasks for which the bride was to 
be the reward. Then he commands her to do the Hke for 
him : to weave a shirt, for instance, from a single thread 
of flax, etc. ; and when she declares this impossible, he 
cuts off her breasts, roasts them, and bears them to his 
mother-in-law as a gift. In the northern versions, the 
bride, whilst the groom is taking her home, laments that 
she has been sold, and says that she would rather be the 
companion of any animal that may cross their path. The 
son of Kojonen, in a fit of anger, asks counsel of his 
sword, and the end is the same as in the other version. 
In several examples from Ingria and Finnic Carelia, the 
son of Kojonen is called not Ivan but Ilmari, perhaps on 
account of the identity of the first letters, as he is some- 
times called Ignatti and Jivari. In those songs in which 
Kojonen is called Ilmari, the two journeys for the bride 
are placed one after the other, and the reason for the 
refusal in the second case is, as in the Kalevala, because 
he killed the wife he had first married. These were certainly 
the models used by Lonnrot, who based his arrangement 
on the work of the popular singers. 

The Wedding Songs {Hddvirret or Hddrunot) implicating 
the description of the marriage feast extend through 
seven runes of the Kalevala (xix.-xxv.). Lonnrot put them 
together from the ancient usages of the people in some 
parts of Finland, which resemble those in Esthonia 
(Krohn, p. 168 et seq.). It is easy to understand that they 
are songs used on the occasion of weddings, and are quite 
independent of epic songs ; they are therefore also found, 
although not in all their varieties, in the collection of lyric 
songs, the Kanteletar, i., 126 et seq. Even popular singers, 
however, connect them with the epic runes, either singing 
them, or else saying when they reach the proper place, "Here 
should come the wedding songs which the women sing ".^ 

' " Siita tulee haavirret laulettavaksi joita saatta naisilta." So says 
Lonnrot in his Introduction to the second edition of the Kalevala, p. 3. 


To work these songs in with the details of the poem, 
Lonnrot must have added something of his own ; but 
Krohn says nothing about this, for his book does not 
analyse this part as it does the epic portions. Neither 
does the publication of the variants enhghten us, as 
they have not yet reached the Kilpakosinta series. All 
this does not apply, however, to rune xx., introduced by 
Lonnrot into the description of the wedding festivals. It 
belongs to the Lemminkainen cycle, and more exactly to 
the Journey to Pdivold (Pdivoldn reiki) , which finds its con- 
tinuation in runes xxvi., xxxix. Of this we shall speak 
further on. From this song Lonnrot has taken not only 
the part concerning Lemminkainen, but the feast itself, 
the making of the beer, etc. ; applying all this, however, to 
Ilmarinen's wedding (with which it has really nothing to 
do), and substituting Pohjola for Paivola, the real place 
of the banquet described in the Lemminkainen rune. 

Journey for the Sampo and Bape of the Sampo {Samporetki ja 
sammen ryosto). 

(Runes xxxix.-xlix.) 
The variants of Finnic CareHa, as we have already 
seen, give the song of the Sampo by itself, teUing of the 
expedition to carry the Sampo off, and knowing nothing 
of the story of its making, which is a recent production of 
the singers in the government of Archangel. Now and 
then we find at the beginning of the song that tells of the 
expedition for the Sampo and its rape, the Journey to 
Vipunen, or the Wound in Vdindmoinen's Knee, or even the 
search for the horse and the lament of the ship {vid. Kalev., 
rune xxxix.), which properly form part of the song on the 
Origin of the Kantele. These three forms are, however, very 
rare, which means that they are chance combinations. 
The real and original contents of the song, as we know it at 
present, may be resumed as follows : Journey to Pohjola ; 


demand for the Sampo, and refusal ; putting to sleep of 
the people of Pohjola by the sound of the kantele ; rape of 
the Sampo on a ship after obtaining it with difficulty; 
invitation to a song of joy at the success of the under- 
taking; awakening of the people of Pohjola consequent 
on the cries of a crane ; pursuit with a ship ; wreck of the 
ship of Pohjola on a rock of flint stone ; change of the 
Lady of Pohjola into an eagle ; combat with the latter ; 
fall of the Sampo into the water, only a small part of it 
being saved. 

In the Archangel example of the song of the Sampo 
(given in the appendix), this closes the song and occupies 
about 200 lines (246-435). As in the composition of the 
singers of Archangel, so in the Kalevala, Lonnrot has used 
it for the final runes of the poem (xxxix.-xlix.). Both in the 
people's songs and in the Kalevala, the expedition for the 
Sampo is occasioned by the words of Ilmarinen to Vaina- 
moinen concerning the benefits that the Sampo has 
brought to Pohjola (end of rune xxxviii.). There is, how- 
ever, this natural difference : that in the people's songs 
Ilmarinen says these words when he comes back from 
making the Sampo; whereas in the Kalevala, where so 
many incidents, as we have above explained, have been 
intercalated between the making of the Sampo and its 
rape, he utters them on his return from his third journey 
to Pohjola, whither he had gone to ask for his second 

Lonnrot has enlarged and enriched the narration with 
a number of important details drawn from people's songs ; 
and although many of these are quite foreign to the subject, 
he has still based his combinations on the usage of popular 
singers. One change of small consequence which he has 
allowed himself in this part of the poem is the name of 
the third companion who joins Vainamoinen and Ilmarinen 
in the undertaking. A third companion often actually 
occurs in the people's songs, but this is never Lemmin- 


[kainen.^ He is called sometimes Vesi-Liitto, who pro- 
[perly belongs to the song on the origin of water (Veden 
■synty), sometimes Iku-Tiera, who is not the same as Lem- 
minkainen, but calls to mind a personage in a rune relat- 
ing to him, of which we shall speak in the proper place 
(vid. Kalev., rune xxx.). In many other variants from the 
government of Archangel it is Joukahainen, as it is 
generally in the songs of Finland proper. Lonnrot has 
placed Lemminkainen here in order to form a bond of 
union, which would otherwise be wanting, between the 
Sampo cycle, and the runes relating to this hero that 
had already been introduced into the earlier parts of 
the poem. 

Further, Lonnrot has enlarged the argument of the 
song of the Sampo in this last part : first, by introducing 
the song on the Origin of the Kantele and ingeniously 
developing it in accordance with two different variants ; 
second, by developing the theme of the persecutions used 
by the Lady of Pohjola against the robbers of the Sampo, 
^multiplying them in various ways to admit of the intro- 
duction into the poem of popular songs of every kind. 

The various songs or runes which Lonnrot has thus 
combined in these final runes are as follows : — 

Bunes xxxix.-xli. Journey by Boat (Laivaretki) ; Origin of 
the Kantele {Samporetki-Kanteleen synty). 

Runes xlii.-xliii. Rape of the Sampo (Sammon ryosto).^ 

Rune xHv. Origin of the Kantele (another variant). 

Runes xlv.-xlix. Persecutions of the Robbers of the 
Sampo ; this is divided into the following songs : — 

Rune xlv. Magic Song on the Origin of Evils or of Sick- 
nesses {Pahojen tai tautien synty). 
Rune xlvi. Songs on the Capture and Funeral of the Bear 

(Karhun pyynti ja peijaiset). 

^ Vid., however, below, the discussion on the Origin of the Kantele. 
2 The Samporetki and the Sammon ryosto are parts of one song. 


Bunes xlvii., xlviii. Magic Song on the Origin of Fire 

{Tuleen synty). 
Kune xlix. Liberation of the Sun and the Moon {Auriiigon 

ja kimn pddsto). 

The song of the Origin of the Kantele is found combined 
with various other songs : with that of the Journey to 
Vipunen, of Vdindmoinen s Wound, and even of the Expedi- 
tion for the Sampo ; but it stands originally by itself. In 
the Kalevala it is introduced twice : first as an episode in the 
journey for the Sampo (runes xxxix., xli.), and then after 
the rape of the Sampo has been accompHshed (xlvi.). The 
first combination is founded on several examples from the 
government of Archangel. The second (loss of the first 
kantele and making of a new one) was certainly invented 
by Lonnrot himself as a means of utilising another beauti- 
ful variant of the same song. The first gives the song as 
it exists among the singers of Kussian, and a great part 
of Finnic Carelia ; the second keeps chiefly to the form 
proper to the region of Ingria and Esthonia. From 
the latter variant a new branch has sprung, on which 
Lonnrot has also drawn, Eef erring the reader to Krohn's 
book^ for the analysis and history of these variants, 
I here confine myself to pointing out that the funda- 
mental difference between the northern and southern 
variants lies in this : that whereas in the first, where 
the incident occurs on the sea, the kantele is made 
from the head of a pike, in the second, where the sea- 
voyage is unknown and the incident occurs on land, the 
kantele is made from a birch tree. In the Kalevala, 
where the incident occurs as an episode in the expedition 
for the Sampo, the same three heroes take part in it, who 
are associated in the expedition. This also naturally 
occurs in such of the popular songs of the government of 
Archangel as present this combination of the two runes ; 

1 P. 454 et seq. 


except that in these, as we have already said when speak- 
ing of the Expedition for the Sampo, the third companion is 
not Lemminkainen ^ as in the Kalevala, but Joukamoinen 
or Joukahainen. It is somewhat commoner to find this 
latter as the only companion and aid of Vainamoinen. 
But in the greater part of the examples of the Origin of 
the Kantele, the only hero named is Vainamoinen, and this 
is doubtless the most ancient form. 

Ingria and Esthonia know only as a separate song 
that which in the northern variants precedes the Origin of 
the Kantele, and tells how the heroes went by sea rather 
than by land (Laivaretki). Krohn's information as to the 
variants of this song (p. 465 et seq.), and on their relation 
to the Origin of the Kantele (p. 182), is a Httle confused. 
Lonnrot has made use of these southern variants in rune 
xvi., where is the description of the building of the ship. 
Here, while using the southern variants to a certain 
extent, he has principally followed the northern form, 
especially as in this the songs of the Origin of the Kantele 
are already in combination with that of the Sampo. The 
lamentation of the ship does not occur in all examples, 
but is found in many from various places. 

The song of the Origin and Healing of Sicknesses has 
nothing to do with the incidents of the Sampo and with 
epic runes in general. It stands by itself and belongs to 
the numerous class of magic songs. Lonnrot has intro- 
duced it into the Kalevala on an occasion invented by 
himself. Sometimes, however, the Healing of Sicknesses is 
found connected, by reason of the names introduced into 
it, with the epic songs. Arhippa of Latvajarvi sang how 
Vainamoinen prepared unguents with which he healed 
the strange maladies, many of them unknown even by 
name, that attacked the sons of Vainola. Certain magic 
songs, too, of the government of Archangel and one of 

1 Except a fragment given by Ganander, Mythologia Fennica, p. 49. 


Finnic Carelia, speak of "Pohjola's sick sons," of " Luo- 
tola's wasted children ". But, generally speaking, no 
mythic name is ever mentioned in Finland by these 

Curious and characteristic are the songs and cere- 
monies in use among the Finns in the Capture and Funeral 
of the Bear {Karhun jjyynti ja peijaiset) ; but they have no 
connection with the epic song, and Lonnrot has been 
obliged to invent the occasion for introducing them into 
the Kalevala, namely, that the bear had been sent by the 
Lady of Pohjola, etc. Neither is the bear-slayer ever 
called Vainamoinen. 

Beautiful and interesting for the myth it contains is 
the magic song on the Origin of Fire (Tuleen synty). It is, 
however, quite foreign to the incidents of the Sampo, 
with which Lonnrot has bound it, for the sake of intro- 
ducing it into the poem, on a pretext invented, like the 
two preceding, by himself. 

The matter is somewhat different in rune xlix., which 
narrates the Liberation of the Sun and of the Moon {Auringon 
ja kuun imdsto). This song is really found in continuation 
with that on the Origin of the Kantele, and is thus joined to 
the song of the Sampo by the people themselves. The two 
luminaries are taken while they stoop to hear Vainamoinen 
play, and are shut up behind nine locks, behind ten bolts. 
In vain do Ilmarinen and Joakahainen seek to liberate 
them ; Vainamoinen alone succeeds. But there is only 
one example of the variant in which this form occurs, and 
even this bears evident signs of corruption. In it the sun 
descends to a tree to listen, as in all the other examples 
does the lord or the lady of the wood. This is evidently 
a faint echo of the song of the Sampo as it exists in the 
government of Archangel. So that although L5nnrot 
can cite an example somewhat analogous among popu- 
lar usages, still the rune of the Liberation of the Sun and of 
the Moon really stands by itself as it is found in eastern 



Bothnia, in Savolaks, and in the north of Finnic CareHa : 
it has no actual connection with the song of the Sampo. 
The whole of rune xlix. in the Kalevala was completed by 
Lonnrot with additions of his own. The additions which, 
as he confesses in a letter to Keckman, he made in his own 
words are, according to Krohn, the incident of the making 
of a false sun and of a false moon, and the rape of the 
celestial luminaries by the Lady of Pohjola (beginning of 
rune xlvii.). The name of the liberator is not always Vaina- 
moinen ; nor was he certainly the original hero, still less 
Jesus or Mary, who are sometimes substituted for him. 
Sometimes Kave is found, sometimes Kajpo, sometimes 

Fifial Bune (1.). 

The rune which brings the poem to so opportune a 
conclusion with Yainamoinen's departure and the vanish- 
ing, at the advent of Christ, of the ancient pagan, Finnic 
phantasms, is too ingenious an artifice to have been con- 
ceived by the popular singers. In this affair the latter 
only succeed in producing in their songs a singular 
mixture of Christian and pagan ideas, names and inci- 
dents. Lonnrot, however, has availed himself of the con- 
fusion to compose this final rune ; using popular elements, 
it is true, but combining them so as to give rise to an idea 
that is completely foreign to them. 

He has thus combined two perfectly different songs : 
the Song (virsi) of the Virgin Mary (Neitsy Maarian virsi)} 
which tells of the birth of the Eedeemer, and the Judg- 
ment of Vdindmoinen {Vdindmoisen tuomio), which really 
belongs to the Kullervo cycle. 

The story of the virgin of great chastity who becomes 
pregnant on eating a blackberry, is found among the 
variants in connection with the birth of Vainamoinen, as 

^ This long song is given in its entirety in the collection of lyrics. 
Kanteletar, iii., n. 6. 


we have before seen. There the virgin is called Iro, a 
woman's name very common in the government of Arch- 
angel. In consequence of the confusion just mentioned, 
and which often occurs in other countries besides Finland, 
this incident was introduced by the popular singers into 
the story of the birth of Christ ; where, as in that just 
spoken of, the virgin Maaria or Marjatta, conceives, not 
by a miracle of the Holy Ghost, but by means of a black- 
berry {marja). From this song Lonnrot drew all or nearly 
all that part of rune 1. which tells of the chaste Marjatta : 
how she became a mother, how the babe was born (with 
the connected incidents of Herod or Ruotus), how it was 
lost and how found again. 

The song of the Judgment of Vdin'dmdinen is often found 
in the villages of Vuonninen and of Lonka in the govern- 
ment of Archangel. It tells of a fatherless babe found in 
a pond, of the question about its baptism, of the harsh 
judgment given by Vainamoinen and the reply of the 
babe, that is finally baptised and declared king of Met- 
sola, guardian of Rahasaari. Vainamoinen, feeling him- 
self shamed, embarks in a copper boat and goes away for 
ever. Some variants of this song, whose contents are, as 
we have seen, introduced bodily into the Kalevala, give the 
name of the child's mother as Marjatta ; and this has 
afforded Lonnrot an excuse for combining it with the song 
of the birth of Jesus, who thus comes to be judged by Vaina- 
moinen. The name of this hero is not, however, originally 
found in the latter song. In one example which comes from 
Finland, certainly the oldest, and the parent of all the 
others, the judge is called Virokannas. Neither does the 
close, the departure of the judge, which is often wanting in 
the examples from Ingria and from northern Finnic Carelia, 
belong to this place originally. The withdrawal of the 
ancient hero-ruler from before the new one occurs in a 
prose tale, of very different nature, from western * Finland 
(Krohn, p. 153). Without doubt there is, as Krohn observes 



(p. 339), a reminiscence of the life of Christ in the babe con- 
demned to die and then made king of the land ; but there 
is never, among the people, any allusion to Christ, nor 
mention of him in this song. On the contrary, the danger 
the child runs of being killed, would rather bring him near 
to Kullervo. In one example the new-born babe throws 
away its coverings and rends its swaddling bands, as 
Kullervo does ; sometimes, moreover, in the government 
of Archangel, he is called, like Kullervo, Kaleva or Kalevan 
poika (Krohn, p. 181). Lastly we may observe that the 
child is never named king of Carelia, as in the Kalevala^ 
but king of Metsola (the abode of Tapio, god of the 
woods), and guardian of Kahasaari (island of wealth). 

Groups of Bunes outside the Sampo Cycle. 
The Lemmink'dinen Bunes (xi.-xv., xx., xxvi.-xxx.). 

All those runes which in the Kalevala treat of Lemmin- 
kainen have very slight connection with the fundamental 
story of the poem. Even the connection that actually 
exists is due to Lonnrot, who to unite this cycle to the 
poem has had to work on the very small foundation afforded 
him by the people's songs. Lemminkainen is related to 
the incidents of the Sampo only in so far as he was the 
third (and not very important) companion in the expedi- 
tion to carry it off. We have seen, however, that in the 
people's songs that third is never Lemminkainen, but 
some one else. Lonnrot has no other precedent for 
introducing Lemminkainen than a fragment given by 
Ganander (Mythologia Fennica, p. 49), and perhaps another 
little fragment of two lines which he picked up and in- 
serted, we know not why, among the variants of the 
Origin of the Kantele. 

Apart from the Sampo, Lemminkainen appears in 
connection with the runes relating to the wooing of the 
maid of Pohjola. And this in two ways : first, as himself 


the wooer of the maiden (runes xii., xiii. et seq.), but this 
stands quite alone and is independent of the stories of the 
other wooers ; second, as offended at not being invited to 
Ihnarinen's wedding and as avenging himself for the slight 
(runes xx., xxvi.-xxix.). A second less fortunate expedition 
to Pohjola (rune xxx.) is the ultimate consequence. But 
in the popular runes Pohjola is not always found where 
Lonnrot uses the name. 

Lemminkainen is the hero of several popular songs, 
some of them great favourites with the people ; but these 
songs are independent of each other, and, even if they are 
put together, are never combined as Lonnrot has com- 
bined them. The connecting thread is the hero's name, 
or rather his several names (Lemminkainen, Kaukomieli, 
Ahti), which Lonnrot has used promiscuously, not without 
the sanction of popular usage ; but it should be observed 
that in some songs we find only the name of Ahti Saare- 
lainen, and never that of Lemminkainen. Ahti is pro- 
perly the name of the god of the sea, and was improperly 
apphed to Lemminkainen.^ KaukomieH, Kauko, Kauka- 
moinen, on the other hand, is really an epithet derived 
from a second name of Lemminkainen indicating his ad- 
venturous nature (Kauko-mieli, he who thinks of things 
far off).'^ 

The popular runes which Lonnrot has combined either 
among themselves or with the parts of the poem, are four 
in number : — 

Eune xi. Ahti and Kyllikki {Ahti ja Kyllikki). 

^ Lonnrot, as a distinction, calls the god of the sea Ahto. But this 
is merely a diminutive of Ahti, and no such distinction exists in the popu- 
lar songs. Cf. Castren, Finsk Myth., pp. 73, 308 et seq. 

* In the same way, other ordinary qualificatives of Lemminkainen 
are "the sanguine rogue" {veitikka vereva), "the fickle youth" {lieto 
poika). According to Krohn, however, p. 497, Kaukomieli simply arises 
from a popular etymology of the original name Kaukos (gen., Kauko), that 
comes from Lithuania, and has nothing to do with the Finnic kauka (a 
distant place), with which the northern Finns have confused it. 


Bunes xii.-xv. Lemminkainen's Death {Lemminkdisen 

surma) . 
Kunes xx.-xxv., xxix. Expedition to Paivola {Pdivolan retki). 

Rune XXX. Ahti's Expedition by Sea (Ahdin merirethi). 

The first and last of these runes are very rare. We 
have only two examples of each, and one of these is com- 
mon to both, as in it they are found combined : that is to 
say, the incidents of Ahti and Kyllikki are prefixed to 
Ahti's Expedition by Sea. Kyllikki having broken her 
oath, Ahti breaks his too, and goes to war. Here the 
hero's name is always Ahti Saarelainen and never Lem- 
minkainen. The two examples of the rune of Ahti and 
Kyllikki are both from the government of Archangel ; in 
one, that from Uhtu, it is combined with the other rune ; 
in another, that from Repola (Olonetz), it stands entirely 
alone. Entirely alone, but incomplete, stands also Ahti's 
Expedition by Sea in a version from western Ingria. Lonn- 
rot has not followed the popular example in combining 
them, but has quite separated these two runes, placing one 
at the beginning, the other at the end of those parts of the 
Kalevala that give what we may call the real Lemminkai- 
nen cycle (runes xii., xxx.). He prefixed the first as an 
introduction to the rune of Lemminkdinen' s Death, which he 
greatly extended by the use of variants and of other songs ; 
the second he added as a further undertaking, connecting 
it with the subject of the Journey to Pdivold, which he also 
greatly developed. The rune that tells of the Death and 
Resurrection of Lemminkdinen, to which Lonnrot has also 
made many additions, contains already in the mouth of 
the people elements that do not belong to it originally, 
but were joined to it rhapsodically by popular singers- 
dra.wing on other songs. The incident which to a certain 
degree connects all this story with the subject of the Kale- 
vala — Lemminkainen's wooing of the maiden of Pohjola — 
is found in only two examples, and these bear marks of 
foreign origin. The tasks which the hero must accom- 


plish to obtain his bride are in great part drawn from 
various songs. Among others, the hunting of the stag of 
Hiisi on skates is the subject of a song that stands alone, 
of which Lemminkainen is but rarely the hero (Krohn, pp. 
516 et seq., 130 et seq.)} Stripped of the additions, the song 
is reduced in its original form to the Death and Besurrec- 
tion of Lemminhdinen, narrated in very different ways in 
the variants. This may be seen in Krohn's book (p. 517), 
and need not be repeated here. 

The Journey to Pdivold or Song of Lemminhdinen (Lem- 
minkdisen virsi) really stands alone. It is rarely found 
combined with Lemminkainen's death (Ilomants, vid. 
Krohn, p. 494, note 5 ; p. 495, note 1), and then prefixed 
to it, not suffixed as in the Kalevala. It is a favourite 
rune in both Russian and Finnic Carelia, and is also often 
found in Eastern Bothnia, in Savolaks, in Ingria ; while 
Esthonia furnishes many variants of it. Being so widely 
diffused it naturally presents many varieties ; it generally, 
however, begins with the origin and making of beer, and 
ends with Lemminkainen's doings at Saari and his depar- 
ture from that island. Its principal incidents therefore 
correspond with runes xx., xxvi., xxix. in the Kalevala. 
The singers of Archangel say that this rune should be 
sung when beer is made ; it cannot therefore be original in 
their country, where brewing is unknown. The one who 
comes uninvited to the banquet is not always called 
Lemminkainen, but Kaukomieli, Ahti Saarelainen, and 
veitikka vereva (the sanguine rogue). According to Krohn, 
the original name is Kaukomieli, or more exactly Kauko, 

To combine this rune with the poem, Lonnrot has 
connected it with Ilmarinen's wedding, thus laying the 
scene in Pohjola. This is not entirely his own invention, 
but the variants in which the banquet is said to have 

1 See Kanteletar, iii., n. 7. 


been held in Pohjola are very rare ; the real name, which 
occurs in almost all the variants, is Paivola. The master 
of the house, too, with whom Lemminkainen quarrels 
and whom he kills, is called in only one variant ** the old 
man of Pohja " (Pohjan ukho). In the government of 
Archangel he is almost always called Lord of Paivola 
{Pdivoldn isdntd) or Paivolainen, son of Paivola or of 
Paiva (Pdivoldn or Pdivdn poika). In other places differ- 
ently, but never Lord of Pohjola.^ 

According to the Kalevala, Lemminkainen, on his 
return from his hiding-place in Saari, finds that his home 
has been laid waste by the men of Pohjola to avenge their 
lord whom he had killed. He promises his mother that 
he will be revenged and sets out on a new expedition 
against Pohjola, with Tiera, his brother in arms, but is 
unsuccessful. This expedition is the subject of the 
popular rune Ahti's Expedition by Sea (Ahdin meriretki), 
which, as it appears in the Kalevala, seems to be a con- 
tinuation of Lemminkainen's first expedition to Pohjola, 
of which we have spoken above. But these two runes 
have no connection with each other among the popular 
singers. The lines which close rune xxix. in the Kalevala 
(i., 449 et seq.), foreshadowing the second expedition, are 
put together by Lonnrot from every kind of songs, princi- 
pally lyric. Ahtis Journey by Sea is a very rare rune, as we 
have said, and is only in one instance found united with 
that of Ahti and Kyllikki. References to it are found in 
the magic songs on the origin of ice (Pakkasen synty), and 
from these and from other signs it is evident that we have 
to do with the remains of a myth once generally known, 
now almost forgotten. In the Kalevala, notwithstanding 
the connecting links invented by Lonnrot, this rune (xxx.) 
is one of the poorest and most inconclusive. 

^ We may here observe that the names Paivola and Pohjola give two 
opposite ideas : one is the land of the sun and of the day, Paiva ; the other 
the land of the extreme north, Pohja, qualified constantly &spitnea, dark. 


The Kullervo Bunes. (Runes xxxi.-xxxvi.) 

Kullervo is removed still further than Lemminkainen 
from the principal subject of the Kalevala : he is in no 
sort of connection with the other heroes of the poem, nor 
does he take any part in its action. The runes relating 
to him form a minor poem inserted into the larger. They 
constitute a beautiful and tragic episode, it is true, but 
one so little bound up with the rest that if it were taken 
out the poem would not suffer. Lonnrot has been able 
to find only one pretext for introducing them : the murder 
by Kullervo of Ilmarinen's wife. True, that is not his 
own invention ; but he has a very slight precedent for it 
among the popular singers, since, as we shall see later 
on, the smith whose wife Kullervo slays is in only two 
among the many variants called Ilmarinen. The murder 
of Ilmarinen's wife has served Lonnrot as a pretext for 
introducing into the poem some other runes, besides this 
of Kullervo, as we have seen above (p. 129). 

In the first edition of the Kalevala Lonnrot introduced 
only such incidents relating to Kullervo as immediately pre- 
cede and concern the slaying of Ilmarinen's wife (rune xix. 
in that edition), and there retained the hero's most com- 
mon name, Kalevan poika, or son of Kaleva, with that of 
Kullervo. In the second edition Kullervo became the son 
of Kalervo, and his deeds were set forth at length in six 
cantos of the poem. Krohn gave still greater importance 
to the little poem by publishing it separately with variants 
collected in Ingria.^ 

In spite of the apparent unity observable in this 

^ Kullervon runot Inkerin toisvnnoista UsHhty, Helsingissa, 1882 {The 
Runes of Kullervo with the Addition of Variants from Ingria, Helsingfors, 
1882, published by the Society for Finnic Literature). This work of 
Krohn's has been adversely criticised on account of the introduction 
among the Kullervo runes of elements too modem in character. The 
author himself, at least while speaking with me, acknowledged the 


pathetic little poem, a unity certainly greater than is to 
be found in all the rest of the Kalevala, it is, as it stands, 
quite unknown to the people, and is the result of several 
songs originally independent one of another, and not even 
referring to the same hero. The very name of Kullervo, 
not even now common to all the songs, is not original. 
Lonnrot has put these songs together with extreme 
cleverness, making far more of them than the people 
could have done, yet founding his work on examples of 
combination, rare or otherwise, afforded by the people 

The runes here combined, but standing originally 
alone, are four : — 

Eunes xxxi.-xxxiii., and part of xxxvi. 1. The Son of 
Kaleva's Vengeance {Kalevan pojan hosto). 

Kunes xxxiv., xxxv., and part of xxxvi. 2. The Deflower- 
ing of the Sister (Sisaren turmelus). 

Kune xxxvi. (part). 3. Setting out for the War {Sot- 

Kune xxxvi. (part). 4. Death Tidings (Kuolonsanomat) . 

Kullervo's name does not occur originally, as we have 
said, in these runes. It is chiefly found in the Death 
Tidi7igs, accompanied as elsewhere by the qualifying Son 
of Kaleva (or of Kalervo), which in some runes is often the 
only name. Perhaps, as Krohn thinks, that name arose 
from the expression constantly recurring in the Death 
Tidings : Ktillervoipi kanhahalle (sounded his horn across 
the moor). From the Death Tidings the name spread to 
the closely related Setting out for the War and thence to 
the Deflowering of the Sister. 

The fundamental rune is the Son of Kaleva's'^ (or of 
Kalervo's) Vengeance. This rune may be said, in a certain 
sense, to be double, for it has two very different forms ; with 

^ Son of Kaleva (Kalevrnv poika) is a very vague epithet ; not only Kul- 
lervo is so called, but also Vainamoinen, Lemminkainen, and others. 



this in common, however, that they both treat of ven- 
geance. One relates hov^ Kaleva's son, soon after he v^as. 
bom, rent his swaddling bands, broke his cradle, etc. ; how 
he was sold to a smith whose wife used him as a shepherd 
and gave him a loaf with a stone inside, and how he re- 
venged himself by killing her. The other narrates the 
family feud between the two brothers, Untamo and 
Kaleva ; how the latter was conquered and killed by the 
former, and how the son of Kaleva (or of Kalehva or of 
Kalervo) avenged his father. This last part, however 
(the revenge), is found in only two examples. Besides 
the hero's name these two forms have in common also the 
shepherd's revenge, which is, however, often wanting. 
The people, especially in the government of Archangel, 
partly combine these two songs; Lonnrot has availed 
himself of this combination in the composition which he 
has introduced into the second edition. The story of 
Kullervo's vengeance on Untamo in rune xxxvi. of the 
Kalevala, is based on only two examples, as we have said. 
Following these, Lonnrot has introduced it into his poem,, 
developing it still further by the combination of two other 
runes, viz., the Setting out for the War and the Death 
Tidings, which he has placed at the beginning of rune xxxvi. 
These two runes are originally distinct. In the Setting 
out for the War, Kullervo's name is found in only two 
examples. The man who is setting out and who asks his 
relations if they will weep for him, etc., is generally called 
Anterus. What war is referred to does not matter. In 
the replies two different forms are to be distinguished : 
sometimes the bride is the only one who promises to 
weep ; sometimes and oftener, it is the contrary. The 
beautiful words placed by Lonnrot in the mouth of the 
mother are very rare.^ 

The Death Tidings runs to a certain extent parallel to 

1 Krohn knows of only one complete example, which, however, could 
not have been known to Lonnrot. 


the Setting out for the War. As in the latter we have the 
rephes of the relations as to what they would do if the 
hero died, so in the former we have the replies of the hero 
at the news of the deaths of his various relations. It is 
therefore easy to combine these two runes, and they are, 
in fact, combined by the people. The death tidings are 
brought to the hero, as in the Kalevala, while he is on the 
road to the war. But it is not always thus. The two 
runes are independent of each other and of different 
origins. The hero sometimes receives the death tidings 
while he is sitting in the tavern, while he is going to 
school, etc. The replies are also various. For the most 
part the hero is moved only at the death of his wife^ 
though sometimes the contrary occurs. Lonnrot has. 
substituted mother for wife, as more in accordance with 
preceding incidents. The hero's name is Kullervo, son of 
Kaleva, in many northern examples (Olonetz, Salmi ^ 
Archangel, Ilomants). South of Viborg and in Ingria the 
name is Anterus or Pddskynen, and he goes to war against 
the Turks or Tatars. In the government of Archangel 
we find the name of Kullervo, and also, added to the 
rune, a part of the excesses of the son of Kaleva, with 
whom everything turns out badly. Thus Lonnrot found 
amongst the people hints for his combination. 

The pathos, even tragedy, of this little poem on Kul- 
lervo arises from the deflowering of the sister and the con- 
sequent double suicide. This is the subject of a special 
popular rune which, as sung by the people, is not as closely 
united to the rest as would appear from the Kalevala. 
Examples of this rune containing the name of Kullervo 
only occur among the songs of the government of Arch- 
angel. They are moreover distinguished by the fact that in 
them the incident does not occur on the journey under- 
taken to pay the tribute, but the girl is carried off from 
amid a group of festive maidens. This form, certainly not 
original, was used by Lonnrot for the story of Kyllikki 


(rune xi.).^ Generally, however, the fact occurs, as in the 
Kalevala, during the journey to pay the tribute, and the 
name of the man who deflowers his own sister is not 
Kullervo but always Tuiretuinen, both in the government 
of Ajrchangel and in northern Finnic Carelia. Around 
Kakisalmi and in northern Ingria it is sometimes Tmcri- 
tuinen, oftener Tuurikhinen ; in western Ingria Turo. The 
tribute-payer is also very often said to be returning from 
Tuuri (or Turki). There is no doubt that Krohn is right 
in comparing this rune with the Russian hyliny of Dob- 
rynia and of Aljoscha Popovic. Although very different 
from this last, the Russian elements are still quite clear, 
not in the Kalevala, where Lonnrot could not admit them, 
but in the original popular variants. 

The rune of the Deflowering of the Sister originally 
closed, not with the suicide of the hero, but with an ex- 
piation consisting in the offering of an animal. So in 
Ingria, whence it sprang ; so also sometimes to the north 
of Lake Ladoga. The name of Kullervo, son of Kaleva, 
having become permanent, there was added the shep- 
herd's vengeance, and sometimes, though rarely, the felling 
of the forest : hence the making of the axe and also the 
making of the sword ; this last giving rise to the addition 
of the suicide. All this is found in only two examples, 
and is certainly an erroneous though beautiful form which 
Lonnrot has with fine intuition turned to account in his 
composition. KuUervo's finding his family alive at home, 
after they were said to have been killed by Untamo, is a 
contradiction that betrays the joining together of several 
runes, and Lonnrot has faithfully let it stand in his poem. 

With the Kullervo runes is also connected that of the 
Jtcdgment of Vdindmoinen ; but Lonnrot has preferred to use 
it in weaving the close of the poem, as we have already 
seen. Krohn has introduced it into his edition of the 

1 Lonnrot found occasion for doing this in a couple of examples that 
erroneously call the ravisher Lemminkainen. 


Kullervo runes (p. 5), reverting however, in place of 
Vainamoinen, to the more original name of Virokannas. 

The composition of the Kalevala from the various in- 
dependent songs of which we have spoken above, will be- 
come clearer on reference to the following table of the dis- 
tribution of these songs or runes in the poem, according to 
the order of the fifty runes into which it is divided. We 
retain the names of the songs as given above and as used 
also by Krohn, and we indicate the place in this author's 
book where he speaks of each song. 

Eune I. Part of the Bime of the Creation {Luo- 

misruno) and of the Archangel Song 

of the Sampo, Krohn, 384 et seq. {vid. 

below, rune vi.). 
Birth of Vdindmdine7i (Vdindmoisen syn- 

tyminen), Krohn, 450. 
,, II. Plo2oghing and Sowing of the Earth 

{Maailma7i kynto ja kylvo), Krohn, 

393 et seq. 
The Great Oak (Iso tammi), Krohn, 402 

et seq. 
The Cultivation of Barley {Ohran viljelys), 

Krohn, 395 et seq. 
,, III. Competition in Song (Kilpalaulanto), 

Krohn, 536 et seq. 
,, IV. The Tr2ce Ai7io-Bune (Varsinainen Ainon 

runx)), Krohn, 543 et seq. 
,, V. The Fishing for the Maiden of Vellamo 

{Vellamon neidon onkiminen), Ejrohn, 

540 et seq. 
„ VI. Another part of the Btme of the Creation 

{Luomisruno) and of the Archangel 

Song of the Sampo, Krohn, 384 et seq. 

{vid. above, rune i.). 


Bune VII. Vdindmoinen s First Journey to Pohjola 

and the Making of the Sampo. (This 
does not exist as a separate rune, but 
is the middle part of the Song of the 
Sampo, as it is found composed in the 
government of Archangel.) Krohn, 
478 et seq. {vid. below, rune x.). 
,, VIII. The Wooing of the Virgin of the Air 

(Bman) {immen kosinta), Krohn, 483 
et seq. 
Wound in Vdindmoinen' s Knee (Vdind- 
moisen polven haava), Krohn, 449 et 

IX. Continuation of the Wound in Vdind- 
moinen s Knee. 
X. Continuation of the rune of number 
vii. from the government of Arch- 
angel. Krohn, 478 et seq. 
XI. Ahti and Kyllikki, Krohn, 512 et seq. 
XII. End of Ahti and Kyllikki, then the 
Death of Lemminkdinen {Lemminkdisen 
surma), Krohn, 514 et seq. 

XIII. Continuation of the Death of Lemmin- 


XIV. Continuation as above. 
XV. Continuation as above. 

XVI. The Journey to Titonela {Tuonelassa 
kdynti), Krohn, 439-500 et seq. {vid. 
below, rune xxv.). 
XVII. The Journey to Vipunen (Vijmsessa 
kdynti), Krohn, 438 et seq. 
XVIII. Part of the Bivalry for the Bride {Kil- 
p>akosinta), Krohn, 468 et seq. {vid: 
below, runes xxxvii., xxxviii.). 
XIX. Continuation of the Bivalry for the 
Bride — Wedding Bunes. 



















The Origin of Beer {Oluen synty). The 
Journey to Pdivold {vid. below, 
runes xxvi.-xxix.), Krohn, 490 et 

Wedding Bunes. 




Idem and the Journey to Tuonela {Tuone- 
lassa kdynti), a variant {vid. above, 
rune xvi.), Krohn, 501. 

The Journey to Pdivold (Pdivoldn reiki), 
Krohn, 491 et seq. {vid. above, rune 




Idem. ' 

Ahti's Expedition by Sea {Ahdin meri- 

retki), Krohn, 509 et seq. 
Family Feud between Kalervo and Un- 

tamo {Kalervon ja Untamon sukuriita), 

Krohn, 530 et seq. {vid. below, runes 

The Vengeance of the Son of Kaleva 

(Kalevan pojan kosto), Krohn, 527 et 

Continuation of the Vengeance of the Son 

of Kaleva. 
The Deflowering of the Sister (Sisaren 

turmelus), Krohn, 520 et seq. (with 

a few lines of the Familf Feud, 

etc. (vid. above, rune xxxi., Krohn, 

Continuation of the Deflowering of the 



Kune XXXVI. 








Setting out for the War and Death 
Tidings {Sotaanldhto ja huolonsano- 
mat), Krohn, 525 et seq., with some 
lines of the Family Fetid, etc. {vid, 
above, rune xxxi., Krohn, 530), and 
a part of the Deflowering of the Sister 
(vid. above, runes xxxiv., xxxv., 
Krohn, 521). 

Another part of the Bivalry for the 
Bride (Kilpakosinta), or, to speak 
exactly, the Golden Maiden {Kul- 
taneito), Krohn, 469 et seq. {vid. 
above, rune xviii.). 

Idem; to speak exactly, however, the 
Son of Kojonens Wooing (Kojosen pojan 
kosinta), Krohn, 469 et seq., 480 et seq. 

Expedition for the Rape of the Sampo 
(Sammonryosto-retki), Krohn, 410 et 
seq. (vid. below, runes xlii., xliii.). 

Expedition by Boat (Laivaretki), Krohn, 

Origin of the Kantele {Kanteleen synty), 
Krohn, 453 et seq. 

Continuation of the Origin of the Kantele. 


Expedition for the Bape of the Sampo 
{Sammonryosto-retki), Krohn, 410 et 
seq. {vid. above, rune xxxix.). 


Origin of the Kantele {Kanteleen synty)^ 
Krohn, 454 et seq. ; variant of the 
same song given above, runes xxxix., 

Origin of Evils or of Sicknesses {Pahojen 
tai tatUien syjity), with other magic 
songs, Krohn, 428 et seq. 



Eune XLVI. 




Songs on the Capture and Funeral of the 
Bear {Karhun j^yy^^^y j^ peijaiset), 
Krohn, 428. 

Origin of Fire {Tuleen synty), Krohn, 
429 (the lines 1-36 of this rune be- 
long to the song in rune xUx.). 


Liberation of the Sun and the Moon 
{Auringon ja kuun pddstd), Krohn, 428 
et seq. 

The Song about Mary (Maarian virsi)y 
Krohn, 339 et seq. ; Vdindmoinen' s 
Judgment {Vdindmoisen tux)mio) yKxdhxiy 
534 et seq. 

The preceding exposition has made clear : first, from 
what songs, independent or originally so, the Kalevala has 
been composed ; second, in what way Lonnrot's combina- 
tions of certain of these songs are founded on the habit 
among popular singers of combining or of in some manner 
connecting songs originally different and independent, 
and still often sung as such ; third, how and on what 
grounds Lonnrot, extending this manner of combining 
far beyond the boundaries of popular usage, sometimes 
even changing, with a certain amount of liberty, names 
of persons and of places, has strung together various 
groups, has added to each one of them, and has built 
them up into a great poem. To complete our observa- 
tions on the composition of the poem we must describe 
Lonnrot's method in the partial composition of each song. 

He never gives a song as it occurs in one variant; 
but he forms his text in every case from the union of all 
the variants of the song in question, taking from each the 
best as regards poetical form, the most fit for the com- 
position of the poem as regards details of narration. In 
doing this he gives no heed to the various places from 


which the different variants are derived, nor to the vicis- 
situdes of the song in those variants, some of which are 
corruptions, others more ancient and better preserved 
examples. If he had had scruples of this kind, he would 
not have been able to compose his poem ; but even in this 
he does but follow the usage of popular singers, who freely 
combine the songs they know without asking whence 
they come. 

Lonnrot does not always give the song in its complete, 
original continuity ; he often splits it up and distributes 
the parts throughout the poem, in accordance with his 
ideas of its composition. 

Many additions are made to the text of the songs, 
some to establish a connection between the songs them- 
selves, others for the sake of ornament, others to introduce 
into the poem certain beautiful and characteristic products 
of national poetry, which are not strictly epic. One 
principal and essential addition, giving a more pronounced 
character to the poem, is that of the numerous magic songs. 
Among the songs above enumerated as forming the poem, 
several are really magic songs. Such are the three in rune 
ii., the Origin of Sicknesses (rune xlv.), the Origin of Fire (runes 
xlvii., xlviii.), etc. Besides those which appear in the poem 
with a proper epic function, there are many others which 
stand there simply as magic songs : when in the action 
of the poem a prayer occurs, an exorcism, the magic 
cure of a wound, of an ill or the like, then the relative 
magic song is often inserted in the narrative. Lonnrot is 
authorised in introducing them by the methods of the 
popular singers, who do not, it is true, give the text of the 
magic song, but refer to it, saying at a given place in the 
song: Here would come this or that magic song, and, 
omitting it, go on with the narrative.^ 

We should observe that the text of these magic songs 

^ Vid. Preface to the second edition of the Kalevala, § 6. 


as given in the poem is treated by Lonnrot like that of 
all the other songs, that is to say, it is put together from 
the many variants of one song and even of various magic 
songs relating to the same subject. Hence the difference 
between the magic songs as given in the Kalevala and as 
published in the special collection of the Loitsurunot. 
Other numerous additions consist in lines or groups of 
lines introduced by way of embellishment or to form a 
connecting link. These are taken from other epic songs 
•and also from ballads, from magic, lyric, didactic songs ; 
some are even composed by Lonnrot. To the greater 
part of the special songs above mentioned, Krohn has 
appended a list of Lojinrot's additions. After examining all 
the variants of each song he has registered the lines in 
the Kalevala which do not occur in those variants, but do 
occur in those of another song, epic or epic-lyric, magic, 
didactic, etc., together with the lines wanting in all songs 
known to him from the manuscripts of the collectors ; 
which Lonnrot must therefore have obtained from an 
unknown source, or have composed himself.^ 

^ We may here give as an example a translation of Krohn's (p. 479 et 
seq.) note on Lonnrot's additions to that part of the Archangel song of the 
Sampo which describes the making of the Sampo {Kalevala, rune x.) : — 

LI. 13-20, 43-52 {Vdinamoinen returns Home), probably by Lonnrot, 

LI. 67-80 {Conversation with Ilmarinen), idem. 

LI. 119, 120, 142, 143. According to the original songs of the people, 
there is neither moon nor constellation of the Bear on the golden fir, but 
a marten and a squirrel. 

LI. 151-158 {Words of the Fir-tree), probably by Lonnrot. 

LI. 217-250 {Dressing of the Maiden), probably put together from 
various songs. 

LI. 281-413 {Description of the making of the Sampo), from the be- 
ginning to 1. 318 and lines 391-402 from the Origin of Iron (magic song), 
the rest from the making of the Golden Maiden {Rivalry for the Bride, vid. 
rune xxxvii.). By the popular singers the preparation of the Sampo is 
never described in more than four lines (By day he made the Sampo, 
Adorned the coloured cover ; And he had made the Sampo, Had adorned 
the coloured cover). In the first edition Lonnrot had drawn additions only 
irom the Origin of Iron ; in the second he also laid under contribution the 


In thus transporting lines and groups of lines from 
one song to another, taking them from the mass of runes of 
every kind which he knew by heart, Lonnrot has followed 
the examples abundantly furnished by popular singers. 
Popular usage sanctions, too, his introduction here and 
there of lines improvised by himself. His additions are, 
however, in no case of great consequence, and he generally 
models on lines of popular singers, if he does not always 
use them. Sometimes, however, he combines popular 
lines in such a way as to express ideas which by no means 
exist in the popular mind, e.g., the triumph of Christ in 
the last rune, the symbolism of the earliest human re- 
sources in the construction of the Sampo, etc. He 
also adds now and again a flower of his own to the blos- 
soms of the popular poetry, e.g., at the end of the song of 
the Origin of the Kantele (rune xli.) the change of Vainamoi- 
nen's tears into pearls, an incident not found in any known 
text of that song or of other songs, and seemingly in- 
vented by himself.^ But all these are matters of no very 
great importance ; on the whole, the Kalevala is composed 
of matter and of lines that are purely popular. 

Finally we must observe that, especially in the second 
edition, Lonnrot has retouched the language and the- 
metre of the songs he has introduced, refining and better- 
southern variants of the Golden Maiden. He therefore changed the sword 
of the popular song into a boiv, and himself invented the appearance of 
the pUmgh-share in order to present the four principal resources of human 

LI. 430-432 {Guarding of the Sampo), taken from an example of 
the song on Vipunen. 

LI. 433-462 {Ibnarinen's Proposal and the GirVs Reply), the first put 
together from the Rivalry for the Bride, the second from a lyric song. 

The following passages are rarely found, and for the most part in only 
one example: 11. 21-26 {Vciinamdinen's cursing of the Lapp); 11. 183-200 
(Arrival of Ilmarinen unobserved by the Dogs) ; 11. 414-416 {Enumcratio7i 
of the things ground out by the Sampo) ; 11. 423-426 {The Sampo shut tip in 
the Hill of Stone) ; 11. 473-488 (Ilmarinen' s Home- sickness). 

^ Krohn, p. 454. 


ing them with the intention of producing a homogeneous 
whole. In doing this he has not always been able to 
conceal the marks of his own work.^ 

We may conclude these observations with the words 
in which Lonnrot himself defines the principles that have 
guided him in the great work which he has performed so 
well and so honestly : — 

" The order in which the singers chant their runes 
should certainly not be entirely overlooked. At the same 
time I have not thought well to attach too much import- 
ance to it, as it is a matter in which they differ much 
from each other. This very difference in the ordering of 
the runes confirm,ed me in the idea I had already con- 
ceived : that all runes of this kind could be combined 
among themselves. For I had observed that the dis- 
position adopted by one singer was not the same as that 
adopted by another ; so that, after a great copying of 
runes recited by various singers, I found very few that had 
not been sung, by one or another, in various connections. 
I could not consider one singer's ordering of the runes as 
more original than that of another ; but explained each 
case by the natural desire of man to bring order into his 
knowledge, a desire which produces differences according 
to the different conception of the individual singers. As 
a consequence, since none of the singers could compare 
with me in the mass of runes I had collected, I thought 
that I had the same right which I was convinced most of 
the singers assumed : the right, that is, of ordering the 
runes according as they best fitted into each other." ^ 

^ Vid. Ahlqvist's critical examination of the text of the Kalevala 
{Kalevalan tekstin tutkimusta ja tarkastusta), Helsingf., 1886. 

2 Helsingf ors Literaturhladet, 1849, p. 16. We may here remind the 
reader of other words of Lonnrot given in chapter i., p. 9. 



By way of illustrating the epic runes as they actually exist, 
as they are sung by the popular singers, we here give the 
translation, as nearly literal as possible, of one of the most im- 
portant variants of the Sampo rune from the government of 
Archangel: of the rune, that is, which runs, as the warp, 
through the texture of the Kalevala. In the second edition of 
the poem, the subject-matter of this rune is distributed in the 
following manner : runes i. (in part), vi., vii., x., xxxviii., xxxix., 
xlii. (in part), xliii. (in part). 

The text we have used comes from Vuonninen, a village very 
rich in songs in the government of Archangel, in the parish of 
Vuokkiniemi, two or three miles from the Finnic frontier. It 
was sung in this form to Sjogren in 1825, and to Lonnrot in 
1833, by the same singer, Ontrei, second only as a rune-singer 
in those parts to Arhippa of Latvajarvi. Ontrei died in 1856 at 
the age of seventy-five. His family came from Finland, from 
the neighbourhood of Uleaborg. The text used is formed from 
the combined manuscripts of Sjogren and Lonnrot. We have 
drawn it from the part that is already printed, but not yet 
published, of the Variants of the Kalevala [Kalevalan toisinnot). 
From this source are also taken the above-cited facts, given us 
by Dr. A. Borenius. 

The Lapp with the crooked back 
Fostered an ancient feud, 
A spite from long past time 
Against old Vainamoinen. 
5. On the sea a dark spot spied he, 

A blue speck on the crest of the billows.^ 
The Lapp with the crooked back 
Quickly bended his bow,*^ 
Quickly near to his hut, (?) 
10. Far as his right hand reached. 
Once with his arrows shot he, 
Aimed he too high ; 

^ That is, Vainamoinen clad in blue riding along the sea-shore. 
2 Really tJie boiv of fire near the hut of fire. 


Again with arrows shot he, 

Aimed he too low ; 
15. A third time tried he, 

And at length he struck 

Of the azure oak the flank. 

Then fell Vainamoinen, 

With his fingers in ocean fell he, 
20. With his hands thro' the waves he rolled ; 

There went he six years wandering, 

Roaming for seven summers. 

Where'er beside the shore the sea-ground touched he. 

There he created a fishing place,^ 
25. Let hollow fishy caverns. 

Whenever in the midst of ocean stayed he. 

There he created ridges of rock. 

He caused skerries to grow up, 

Upon which ships are hurled, 
30. Where merchants lose their lives.^ 
The goose, the bird of air, 

Flying, hovering, roams. 

Seeking a spot for her nest. 

Then ancient Vainamdinen 
35. From ocean heaves his knee, 

Like to a grassy hillock, 

Like a paddock with sweet grass. 

The goose, the bird of air, 

Is scooping a place for her nest, 
40. Is scooping a nest of grass. 

Scratched in her nest of heather 

On the knee of Vainamoinen : 

Six eggs she laid, 

An egg of iron the seventh. 
45. The goose, the bird of air, 

Kept rubbing, sat hatching 

On the knee of Vainamoinen. 
And ancient Vainamoinen 

Felt then his knee to burn, 
50. Felt then the joint grow hot. 

Shook he his knee. 

Into ocean rolled the eggs ; 

Broke on the rocks of ocean. 

Old Vainamoinen spake : 
55. " Let the egg's lower part 

1 Properly, produced by magic, with magic words {siunata). 

2 Their heads. 


Earth's base become, 

Let the egg's upper part 

Become the sky above, 

Let the egg's yellow yolk 
60. Become the radiant sun 

In the firmament above ; 

What the egg has of v^rhite 

Let it be the moon far-shining 

In the firmament above. 
65. Let every bit of skin ^ 

Become a star in the sky." 
And the wind rocked him, 

The sea-breeze made him float 

As far as gloomy Pohjola, 
70. To the unknown gates. 

To the strange abodes, 

To lands without a priest. 

To countries unbaptised. 

" Behold me tossed, poor wight, 
75. Tossed on a rolling tree, 

Tossed on a weltering trunk ; 

Now feel I ruin upon me ; 

The day of dole hangs o'er me ! " 

There six years went he wandering, 
80. For eight years was he harried, 

Like a sprig of fir went wandering, 

Like the top of a pine trunk wandered. 

To himself then spake he words : 

" The branch is a hindrance in the water, 
85 The poor man in the road of the rich ! 

Bring hither a boat, maiden ! 

Across the river of Pohjola 

From the infernal land of Manala ! " ^ 
The whore, the lady of Pohjola, 
90. Was cleaning her little room, 

Sweeping her pavement of copper ; 

Was carrying the sweepings to the yard, 

Into the farthest field, 

To the lane afar (behind), 
96. In a dust-pan of copper. 

To listen stood she still 

And weeping in ocean heard. 

•• This weeping is no child's crying 

Nor yet a woman's weeping. 

* Really of botie {luun). ^ Abode of the dead. 



100. It is of a bearded man ; 

A hairy chin groans grimly." 

The whore, the lady of Pohjola, 

Herself began to row, 

Rowed up to Vainamoinen ; 
105. And went, yes made she haste. 

There weeping was Vainamoinen, 

His mouth twitched, trembled his beard, 

But his chin did not hang down. 

Then reached she him and said : 
110. " Ho there ! unlucky old man, 

How didst thou reach, poor wight. 

Reach the abode of strangers, 

The land without a priest. 

The country unbaptised ? " 
115. Then into her boat she took him. 

A hundred wounds had his side, 

Of the wind a thousand whippings. 

The whore, the lady of Pohjola, 

Made the man eat his fill, 
120. Made the man drink his fill, 

Made him sit in the bow of the boat ; 

Then towards Pohjola she rowed. 

She spake on their arrival. 

On their arrival at Pohja : 
125. " Up now, old Vainamoinen, 

If thou canst shape the Sampo, 

Canst paint the coloured cover 

From two bones of a lamb. 

From three small grains of barley, 
130. From even the half of these, 

The maid shalt thou have in guerdon ". 

Spake ancient Vainamoinen : 

" I know not to shape the Sampo, 

To paint the coloured cover. 
135. A smith there is in my land. 

More cunning smith there is not, 

No locksmith more diligent. 

He hammered out the sky. 

The world's cover with hammer blows, 
140. Yet no hammer marks remain. 

No pincer marks are seen." 

Replied the lady of Pohjola: 

" He who should shape the Sampo, 

Should paint the coloured cover, 
145. The maid would have in guerdon". 


Spake ancient Vainjimoinen : 

" But send me safe to my land, 

Thou shalt have smith Ilmarinen, 

And he will shape the Sampo ". 
150. The whore, the lady of Pohjola, 

Made the man eat his fill, 

Made the man drink his fill, 

A red boat gave him then,^ 

And to his own land sent him. 
155. By magic sailed the boat ; ^ 

One day on the ocean waters. 

One day on the river waters, 

A third on his native waters. 

Then Vainamoinen sang, 

160. Come free to his native land. 

He crooned, called up his cunning ; 

A gold-topped fir created, 

A gold-breasted marten created 

On the golden-topped fir. 
165. He spake on his home-coming 

To the house of his ancient mother. 

Of his many-yeared care-taker, 

To the blacksmith Ilmarinen : 

"Hola! smith Ilmarinen, 
170. For there's a maid in Pohjola, 

In the icy village a virgin 

World-famous, chosen of the waters ; 

The half of Pohja lauds her,=^ 

The youths of Suomi seek her ; 
175. Through her flesh you see the bone, 

Through her bone you see the marrow. 

He who can shape the Sampo, 

Can paint the coloured cover. 

From two bones of a lamb, 
180. From three small grains of barley, 

From even the half of these, 

Shall have the maid in guerdon." 

Spake the smith Ilmarinen : 

" Oh, thou old Vainamoinen 1 
185. Well do I know the liar, 

The chatterer know well ; 

Me hast thou doubtless promised 

* Because it was new and freshly pitched. 

2 The boat sang to tlie water. 

^ Pohjan-maa, properly Eastern Bothnia. 


To liberate thine own life, 

As ransom for thyself." 
190. Spake ancient Vainiimoinen : 

" Hola ! smith Ilmarinen, 

Go we to see a fir tree 

That up to heaven reacheth ; 

There's a gold-breasted marten 
195. On the golden-topped fir ". 

And the smith Ilmarinen 

Went out to view the marten. 

Spake ancient Vainamoinen : 

" Hola ! smith Ilmarinen, 
200. Climb up, oh youthful brother, 

Climb up and catch the marten, 

Climb up and slay the squirrel 

On the golden-topped fir ". 

Then the smith Ilmarinen 
206. Went out to catch the marten, 

Went out to catch the squirrel, 

Climbed up into the tree-top 

As high as the sky itself. 

Spake ancient Vainamoinen : 
210. "Awake, oh wind, oh whirlwind. 

Rage with great rage, oh heavens, / 

Within thy boat, wind, place him. 

Within thy ship, oh east-wind,^ 

With all thy swiftness sweep him 
215. To Pohjola the gloomy ". 

Awoke the wind, the whirlwind, 

Raged with great rage the heavens ; 

And so he went, yea hurried 

To Pohjola the gloomy. 
220. Then spake the lady of Pohjola: 

" Art thou smith Ilmarinen ? " 

Answered smith Ilmarinen : 

" I am smith Ilmarinen. 

No smith is there more cunning, 
225. No locksmith more diligent." 

Then said the lady of Pohjola : 

" Canst thou then shape the Sampo, 

Canst paint the coloured cover. 

And have the maid for guerdon ? " 
230. " I know to shape the Sampo, 

To paint the coloured cover, 

^Ahava, the cold dry wind of spring. 


From two bones of a lamb, 
From three small grains of barley, 
From even the half of these." 
235. The whore, the lady of Pohjola, 
Made the man eat his fill. 
Made the man drink his fill, 
Laid him beside the maiden. 
And thus smith Ilmarinen 
240. By day shaped forth the Sampo, 

By night the maid's mind softened ; 
Painted the coloured cover, 
Prepared thus the Sampo. 
The coloured cover was painted. 
245. He goes to his own country, 
He speaks on his home-coming 
To the house of his ancient mother : 
" Oh thou, old Vainiimoinen, 
Since the Sampo is in Pohjola, 
250. The coloured cover painted, 

Now plough they there, now sow they. 
Grow crops of every kind. 
But safe is locked the Sampo, 
Behind nine locks shut fast ; 
255. Deep-rooted are its roots, 

To a depth of nine ells delve they." 
Spake ancient Vainamoinen : 
" Arise, smith Ilmarinen, 
Go we to steal the Sampo, 
260. To crib the coloured cover 
From Pohjola the gloomy ! " 

Set they out to steal the Sampo, 
To crib the coloured cover ; 
They set out, yea, they hasted, 
265. One the old Vainamoinen, 
With him smith Ilmarinen. 
In their road a headland found they : 
Turned he (Vainamoinen) his noisy rowing 
To the point of the misty headland, 
270. Towards the fog-swathed island. 

Speaks from the headland's ending 
Vesi-Liito, youthful Laito : 
" Ho, there ! old Vainamoinen, 
Take me to travel with thee. 
275. I, too, am a man for those lands, 
To be third of the heroes 
When thou shalt raise the Sampo, 


Shalt crib the coloured cover." 
And ancient Vainamoinen 
280. Took him to travel with him. 

With a great plank then came he.^ 

Spake ancient Vainamoinen : 

" What is this wood thou bringest ? 

In my boat there's wood in plenty, 
285. Without this wood of thine." 

Said Liito, youthful Laito, 

" A ship's not wrecked by foresight ; 

A prop won't spoil a hay-stack ". 

His noisy course then turned he (Vainamoinen) 
290. Towards Pohjola the gloomy. 

Then sang old Vainamoinen, 

Laid magic sleep on Pohjola, 

To rest the land malign. 

Shut up was there the Sampo, 
295. Locked safe behind nine fastenings. 

At once old Vainamoinen 

Like to a fine worm wriggled ^ 

Through each crevice in the fastenings. 

He greased the locks with butter, 
300. With lard of pig he smeared them. 

The roots were rooted deep there, 

To a depth of nine ells' delving. 

Pressed he to breast the Sampo, 

With arms sought to dislodge it ; 
305. But the Sampo does not budge, 

The hundred-horned heaves not. 

Vesi-Liito, then, young Laito, 

A bullock took of Pohjola, 

From the edge of a field a plough-share ; 
310. Round the roots of the Sampo ploughed he. 

This made the Sampo tremble. 

The hundred-horned totter. 

Then ancient Vainamoinen 

Bore to his boat the Sampo, 
315. On to his ship he haled it ; 

With noisy course then sped he, 

His red-dyed sail wide spreading, 

To the point of the misty headland. 
Spake the smith, Ilmarinen 
320. To ancient Vainamoinen : 

1 For repairing the ship in case of need. 
- The worm known as Gordius aquaticus. 


" Why sing'st not, Vainamoinen, 

Why croon'st thou not, oh well-born ? 

Thou hast gotten the good Sampo, 

Hast cribbed the coloured cover." 
325. Spake ancient Vainamoinen : 

"Too soon is it for mirth, still, 

Too early yet for singing. 

Then would the song be fitting 

(If I my gates should view). ^ 
330. Hola ! smith Ilmarinen, 

To the top of the ship's mast climb thou, 

Close clinging to the yard-arm, 

Look eastward and look westward. 

Look northward along the coast." 
336. So the smith, Ilmarinen, 

Climbed to the top of the ship's mast, 

Clung close there to the yard-arm, 

Looked eastward and looked westward, 

Looked northward along the coast. 
340. Words spake he then and uttered : 

" The hawks crowd in the aspens. 

In the woods the gaudy eagles ". 
Spake ancient Vainamoinen : 

•' Well do I know the liar, 
345. The chatterer know well ! 

Look eastward and look westward. 

Look northward along the coast." 
And the smith, Ilmarinen, 

Looked eastward and looked westward, 
350. Looked northward along the coast. 
The swarthy bird, the ant, 

The double-jointed ^ giant ^ 

On the crane's legs made water.* 

The crane a strange cry uttered ; 
355. Cried with a strident cry. 

Hopes the devil to hear his cow, 

^ Kun omat ovat ndkyisi. This verse, wanting here, has been added 
from another variant. 

* Kaksijatkonen, having two joints, two parts joined together, as in 
the case of the body of the ant. 

^ Kaleva, heroic giant, ironically. 

* That is, emitted its acid juice, which stings and irritates. From 
this making water {kusta) the Finns call the red ant ktisiainen. The 
name inuuraliainen adopted in this song is of Indo-European origin 
{myra Swedish, muravei Russian, myrmex Greek, etc.). 


The demon his long-tailed ^ beast. 
Then Pohjola was roused, 
The land of ill awoke. 
360. Spake of Pohjola the lady : 

"They have carried the Sampo from Pohjola, 
Have cribbed it without our leave ". 
The whore, the lady of Pohjola, 
Set a hundred men to row, 
365. A thousand at the oar-handles. 
Then set she out to row. 
To follow Vainamoinen. 

Spake the smith, Ilmarinen : 
" Behold the ships of Pohja ; 
370. Its hundred oars^ (beat the waters), 
A hundred men sit rowing, 
A thousand at the oar-handles ". 
Spake ancient Vainamoinen : 
" A wondrous thing have found I ; 
375. A skerry I'll create now. 

Cause a point of rock to grow. 
A piece of flint will take I, 
A little piece of tinder ; 
A skerry I'll create, 
380. Above my left-hand shoulder,^ 
Where Pohja's ship shall strike, 
The hundred-oared be shivered." 

At once took Vainamoinen, 
Took a little piece of flint-stone, 
385. A little piece of tinder. 

And a rock in the sea created ; 
Behind his left-hand shoulder, 
Caused a point of rock to grow. 
The ship of Pohja struck there, 
390. The hundred-oared was shivered. 
The whore, the lady of Pohjola, 
Began alone to fly, 
She rose up with a lark's flight. 
Aloft with bird's wings rose she, 
395. Flew on to the top of the ship's mast, 
Clung close unto the yard-arm. 
And ancient Vainamoinen 
Raised the rudder from the ocean,* 

1 That is, cow with a long tail. 

2 Sata-hanka, having a hundred rowlocks. 

3 That is, throwing the tinder, etc. 
^ Mela, oar that serves as a rudder. 


The fir-trunk ^ from the billows ; 
400. With it struck he the talons, 

And naught of them remained 

Except the smallest only. 

Spake ancient Vainamoinen : 

" Come now, thou dame of Pohjola, 
405. Go we to share the Sampo, 

To see the coloured cover, 

On the point of the misty headland, 

On the height of the fog-swathed island ". 
Says of Pohjola the lady : 
410. "I'll not go to share the Sampo, 

To see the coloured cover ". 
Then ancient Vainamoinen 

Sieved mist within a sieve, 

And round about fog sowed he 
415. At the foggy headland's ending ; 

And thus in words then spake he : 

" Here ploughing and here sowing, 

Here every kind of grain-crop 

For the wretched northern country, 
420. For the wide-spread soil of Suomi. 

Moons here, and here be suns, 

Here stars be in the skies ! " 
. Says of Pohjola the lady ; 

" To this I'll find a hindrance ; 
425. A wondrous thing have found I 

For thy ploughing, for thy sowing. 

I'll create a hail of iron, 

Of steel a raging rain-storm, 

To strike thy crops so tender, 
430. To scourge and waste thy field ! " 
Spake ancient Vainamoinen : 

" Create thy hail of iron. 

Yea, cause to fall thy steel storm, 

Upon the lane of Pohjola, 
435. On the crest of the cliff of clay ". 

^ Lastu, properly, splinter, piece. 



National epic poetry is most genuine when it springs 
from free, natural polytheism, untouched by dogmatic or 
hieratic influences. The hyperboHcal type of the hero, of 
the epic man, and the character of his action then har- 
monise perfectly with the anthropomorphic types of the 
divine personalities, with the current conception of their 
actions, lives, society. The two ideal types, those of the 
god and of the hero, have a close, visible affinity with each 
other : we see and feel that both are products of one 
poetic genius, of one creative spirit that worked towards 
the idealisation of the facts of nature and its forces on the 
one hand, towards that of the acts of man and of human 
society on the other. Gods, demi-gods or heroes, and men 
are thus akin, forming one large family ; gods are national, 
as heroes are national. Common to both is the mythos 
which recounts their origins, the incidents of their lives, 
their relationships, genealogies, history ; common is the 
epos or poetical history which, working out their ideals 
and their mode of action, connects them with the national 
history, whose beginnings it represents. Quite different 
is the case with those epic cycles or epic songs, whether 
popular or national, which arose and spread abroad 
in Europe in writing or by word of mouth, in historical 
times, when Christian monotheism was already firmly 
estabhshed. It is clear to all that Koland, Damesdex,. 
the archangel Gabriel, Archbishop Turpin are not, cannot 
be, the products of one poetic inspiration as are Achilles, 
Zeus, Athena, Chryses the priest of Apollo. Neither can 


we avoid observing that the Sigurd of the songs of the 
pagan Edda, with Odin, with the Valkyries, Hves in 
poetical surroundings that are truly and originally his own ; 
while the Sigurd of the Niebelungen passes, transformed, 
into a Christian, chivalric poetry among elements of very 
different origin from his own. 

The epic songs of the Finns have this essential 
quahty : that they were born during the time of Finnic 
polydsemonism and are essentially mythic in their subject. 
They accord with and continue the poetical-religious idea 
and the daemonic myth of the nation, for they spring 
from a like source, and a like poetic feeling. Considered, 
then, as part of the great body of epic production among 
the nations, they take their place among the most truly 
primitive and natural ; the more so, as all idea of history 
is quite foreign to them. Since the divine or daemonic 
myth and the heroic are here creations of the same 
poetry, we must begin our study of the essence and origin 
of these creations by a description and definition of the 
-daemonic and heroic myth, and then of the poetry which 
produced it, of the eVo? or epic song, here known as rune. 




All Ugro-Finnic peoples were, or are still, shamanists. 
'The Lapps, Siryanians, Votyaks, Cheremissians, Mord- 
vinians, Voguls, Ostyaks, converted or unconverted to 
Ohristianity or to Islamism, are still pagan, and the re- 
mains of their paganism are so permanent that its 
shamanic character is still, though in varying degrees, 
clear. ^ Yet shamanism, and still more fetishism, is a 
religion (if it can be called a religion) so gross in char- 
acter, so imperfect and irrational, as to be able to satisfy 
none but barbarous, nay savage, peoples, living in rudi- 
mental conditions of culture and civil development ; as 
do those whom we have mentioned, the Esquimaux, 
Samoyedes, and the like. The first among the Ugro- 
Finns to be converted to Christianity and to adopt 
European civilisation were the Magyars ; they have lost 
every trace of their primitive shamanism. The Finns 
proper were converted to Christianity in the twelfth 
century, but had been for some time previous in close 
■contact with Germanic and Lithu-Slavonic peoples. This 
contact occasioned among them a certain amount of social 
progress, as well as a development that may also be 
"termed progress, in their idea of rehgion ; which, while 
preserving its fundamental shamanic character, took on 
nobler, more refined forms, and gave rise to a poetry that 
is quite unknown to other related peoples. And this is an 

^ Cf. Ahlqvist, Om schamanismen och ofriga reUgionsformer hos de 
iuranska folken [Finska Vet.-Societets Forhandl., xxiii.), Helsingf., 1881. 


indication of the character of their national genius. For 
the Lapps (who, in spite of similarity in language, are 
anthropologically a people of a different stock), though 
subjected to influences almost identical and no less an- 
cient, have remained up to the present day absolutely in- 
capable of civil development, rebellious and indifferent 
to it ; have retained, moreover, until the most recent 
times, a shamanism as rude as that of the Esquimaux 
and Samoyedes. 

Shamanism, as is well known, differs from other re- 
ligions in this : that, in addition to prayer and sacrifice, 
it believes in the coercive influence which man or some 
specially endowed men (shamans) exercise by means of 
acts, by secret operations, or by words, over nature or over 
the divine or daemonic beings which represent and rule 
nature. Magic, therefore, which in other religions is out- 
side religion and contrary to its spirit, being despised 
as superstition or condemned as impiety, is in shamanism 
the very essence of religion ; what we shall call the magic 
luord is in it no less legitimate, lofty and noble than are 
the hymn and the prayer in any other religion. The 
shaman is more than a simple priest, he is the seer, he 
is the medicine-man, he is wise and powerful above all 
others and is capable of miraculous actions. With his 
action and his word he dominates things and men and 
animals and spirits ; he cures ills or prevents them ; he 
can even produce them ; he can propitiate superior beings 
and obtain benefits ; can ensure good luck for the hunt,, 
the fishing, the journey ; can raise winds and storms and 
clouds and fog and tempests, and can lay them, scatter 
them, disperse them ; he can transform himself and others ; 
he can rise in spirit into the realms of air, go down into 
those of the dead and carry off their secret. This type of 
man, whom we, using a word of ill-repute, shall call wizard, 
may have a certain degree of nobility and even appear 
poetical where he does not come into contact with a high 


and noble religious idea that dwarfs him and fights against 
him. Greek polytheism also poetised the wizard-power in 
certain mythical figures, like those of Circe and Medea, 
not extraneous to the heroic ejws, and united, by poetical 
genealogies, to the divine myth ; but the Greek concep- 
tion of the divinity, and of the direct, immediate and 
potent action implied in its very nature, gave to 
the magic action and power of these witches a merely 
secondary and reflected importance, depending in the 
last resource on the god, not imposing itself upon 
him. Hence the wizard played a small and incidental 
part in the Greek epos. The idea took deeper root in 
the polytheism of the north, where the conception of 
the deity was less delicate, less rational, than it was 
among the Greeks : there the divinity itself often acts 
as a wizard by runes and incantations (galdr). Christian 
monotheism necessarily rejected the wizard and reduced 
him to a child of the nether world, in league with Satanic 
powers or sold to them. 

In shamanism things are very different, nay, exactly 
the opposite. The idea of the divine being may be said 
to be almost subordinate to that of the shaman, who in 
fact more than any one else defines, develops, elaborates 
and forms it. Generally speaking, peoples who have 
remained long in shamanism have never progressed be- 
yond a very confused and limited idea of the divine being, 
particularly of one divine being ; and this either from the 
poverty of their civil and intellectual development or 
from the poverty of their genius. The conception proper 
to them, which indeed fits well with their idea of the 
shamanic power and action, is that of a number of 
spirits presiding over nature, and of the power of the 
spirits of the dead ; is, in fact, what we may call, using 
a word recently coined, animism. Little myth is pro- 
duced among them, and that little is in the rudi- 
mental state of incipient personification. Such among 


the shamanists as were capable of some amount of 
progress in this class of ideas, associated with their own 
thought the idea of some other religion with which they 
found themselves in contact — Christianity, Islamism or 
Buddhism — or adopted this other religion right out,, 
forgetting their ancient beliefs. Thus the Magyars have 
done. The Finns are an exception ; they rise above all 
other shamanists, even those of the same race as them- 
selves. While still under the influence of the shamanic 
idea they created a mythology of their own, rich in names 
and in personalities, divine, daemonic or even heroic. 
This is not the case in any other people belonging to 
the same family. Their mythology still lives and may 
be plentifully gathered (witness the work of Ganander,* 
Castren ^ and others) from traditional songs which had 
their origin in pagan times, and which many centuries of 
Christianity, first Catholic, then Lutheran, then in some 
parts Eussian Orthodox, have not been able to suppress. 
We are now about to examine the way in which the 
shamanic idea originated this mythology ; and the 
influences and circumstances that caused it to develop 
together with the national poetry, so that the history of 
the one is interwoven with that of the other. 

As in all natural religions, the Finnic myth is based 
on a personification of nature, both in her general divi- 

^ MytJwlogia Fennica af gamla Runor satnlad och uttydd af Christfrid 
Ganatuler, Abo, 1789. Chr. Is. Petersen's translation and reordering of 
this work is of little use. He published it in the Beitrdgc of Rosenplanter,. 
n. 14, 1822, and arranged systematically the material which Ganander 
had arranged alphabetically, adding information on the corresponding: 
Esthonian myth. 

2 ForelUsningar i Finsk Mythologi, Helsingfors, 1853 ; it is vol. iii. in 
the Nordiska Resor och Forskningar af M. A. Gastrin. We always quote 
this Swedish edition, without neglecting, however, A. Schiefner's German 
edition with additions, M. Alexander Castren's Vorlesungen ilber die 
Finnische Mythologie, St. Petersburg, 1853. Other writings on this 
subject will be quoted when necessary. With regard to the Esthonian, we 
may remind the reader of the note on p. 47. 


sions and in the details of those divisions. All natural 
things with which man comes in any way into contact 
are looked upon as doing and wiUing, and are hence per- 
sonified. This conception is universal and permanent. 
Thus the road to personification is always open, as the 
same method of personification may be applied to any- 
thing at will or as opportunity may offer. Hence the 
catalogue of Finnic deities is never closed, but can grow 
indefinitely. The process is very simple : the primitive 
method of designating the personifications with the 
ordinary name of the thing personified is above all 
adopted. Thus Paiva, Kuu, Otava, Tahti, etc., are con- 
sidered as divine personages, active and powerful ; but the 
names mean nothing else but sun, moon, Great Bear (the 
constellation), star, etc. A further step towards the 
individuahsing of the personification is that of giving it a 
name and calling it son or daughter of the thing personified. 
Since the Finnic language has no grammatical gender, 
these expressions define a sex and hence change the 
common into a proper noun or the name of a person ; 
.thus pdivdn' poika, son of the sun, ilman tytdr, daughter of 
the air. In these expressions the idea son is not always 
to be understood literally ; originally swi and son of the sun 
mean the same thing, as is also the case in other 
mythologies, e.g., in the Greek Hehos and his son 
Phsethon ; and this may be proved by a comparison of 
various passages in the songs showing that the two 
expressions are equivalent. The thing is still more plain 
in the case of a feminine personification. For this the 
language offers an ending tar which is simply a contrac- 
tion of tytdr, daughter^i and not a distinctive grammatical 

^ Vid. Ahlqvist, Suomen kielen rakennus, p. 16, § 30. The use of this 
ending is proper to Carelia ; it is found chiefly in Northern Carelia, though 
there are traces of it in the south. Vid. Ahlqvist, Kalevalan Karjalaisuus, 
p. 17 ; Neovius, Kalevalan kotiperdstd, p. 15 et seq. The Tavasts know 
nothing of it. 


gender-ending. This is the mode of expressing daughter 
of . . . and we often translate thus words having this 
ending ; but the most common meaning is that of the 
feminine personification, thus kionto, nature, Luo7iiiotar, 
daughter of nature or Nature personified ; ilma, air, 
Ilmatar, daughter of the air or Air personified, etc. This 
method has been also artificially applied outside the myth 
to distinguish, e.g., between king and queen, Kuningas, 
Kuningatar ; or even to form certain nouns applying to 
literary or scientific matters, or representing abstractions, 
e.g.y Kanteletar^ which, from Kantele, cithern, personifies the 
instrument and comes to correspond to the idea of lyric 
poetry ; Kieletdr, which, from kieli, tongue, comes to mean 
glottology. But the people and the popular singers find 
this an excellent method of personifying everything, with 
a noun-form that has the character and value of a proper 
noun. Thus, for example, every tree may be personified in 
a feminine being who represents it and presides over it, a 
kind of dryad : kataja, juniper, has its genius Katajatar ; the 
pine, ho7ika, has Hongatar ; the service-tree, jnhlaja, has 
Pihjalatar, etc. And there is nothing, no part of a thing, 
which cannot be thus personified : the veins (Stconetar), the 
tissues (Kankahatar) , the colours (Sinetdr), etc. Thus the 
Finns are rich in names of divinities, or gods, or genii, or 
spirits, in the same way as among historic peoples the 
Komans are ; and their mythology is nearer to the poly- 
daemonism or rather the pandsemonism of the Eomans 
than it is to the polytheism of the Greeks. As among 
other peoples, and especially among the Komans, the idea 
of father or mother, isd, emd, is dominant in their personi- 
fications. This is particularly the case in the more generic 
personifications, like water, earth, wood, etc. : thus maan 
emd is the mother of the earth, or also maa emd, terra mater ; 
metsdn isd, father of the wood, etc. ; a paternity which is 
not genetic but which simply expresses the personification 
apart from the thing personified — considered as the being 



which rules, protects, represents it. For this reason we 
constantly find the expressions isdntd, emdntd, which may be 
translated lord, lady, but stand in reality in the same 
relation to isd, emd, as patronus, matrona do in Latin t6 
pater, mater, and have now come to signify, like the Latin 
vocables, master, mistress. Thus, too, we find used as a 
term of respect ukko (old man), akka (old woman). De- 
i nominations of this kind naturally bring with them a 
doubling of the personification, as there must be a mother 
where there is a father ; so that one thing comes to be 
represented by two beings of different sex forming a 
married couple. Where this is not the case the denomina- 
tion son or daughter prevails, and is the same as those, 
often substituted for it, of youth, girl, little girl, maiden, 
virgin (nuori, piika, pikkarainen, tytto, impi), etc. 

Lastly, another way of determining the personifica- 
tion is the ending which expresses abode. By adding to 
a noun the termination la, the Finns indicate the place 
where the person or thing represented by the noun is, 
lives, inhabits : pappi, priest ; pappila, the priest's dwelling; 
'metsold, the wood's dweUing-place ; Kalevala, Kaleva's 
country or abode ; Pdivold, the abode of the sun ; Pohjola, 
the abode of the north, etc. This ending reminds one of 
the German use of heim in Niflheim, Jotunheim, Mispel- 
heim, etc., from which the Lapps have their aibmo ; but 
its use is wider and more peculiar in the Finnic myth. 
Properly speaking it says nothing of the character or 
quality of the dwelling ; and as used poetically one feels 
that this dwelhng is simply the personification of the 
thing which has to be personified; if, e.g., Pdivd is the 
[genius or god that represents and rules the sun, Pdivold, 
the abode of Pdivd, is but the sun itself, where lives that 
genius or god who animates and rules it. It matters 
little that popular fancy has played around the theme 
of one or another of these mythic dwelhngs, as, for 
►example, around Pohjola, extending or modifying its 



meaning ; the original reason for the idea is always that 
which I have given. And it is also true that this easy 
way of signifying the dwelling serves in the genesis of 
the myth as an additional element to characterise the 
personifications as such, since, in addition to the titles 
father^ son, lord, etc., they have a dwelling as persons have. 
The same noun-form is also used independently of per- 
sonifications as a qualificative of regions, countries, 
dwellings : thus Pimentola, the abode of darkness, which 
is another name for Pohjola. As to the heroes, it leaves 
the country they belong to quite undetermined : thus 
Vainola, Kalevala, Untamola, etc., refer to a dwelling- 
place of Vainamoinen, Kaleva, Untamo, etc. ; but they 
determine or locahse no known and real place ; they 
indicate rather a place that must exist somewhere 
because every person must have a dwelling. For this 
reason, though not for this reason only, the topography 
of the Kalevala is undetermined and far away from any 
existing locality : its heroic action cannot be localised. 

There are a good many divine beings who are called 
by names different from those of the things they represent, 
but such names are certainly less ancient, and side by side 
with them the use of the ancient, direct denomination 
still continues. Thus Ahti is the proper noun, of doubtful 
origin (probably Germanic), indicating the god of the 
waters ; Vellamo (also probably Germanic) ^ is the goddess 

^ Gastrin, Finsk MythoL, p. 74, after having called to mind the affinities 
established by Diefenbach, Vergl. Worterb. d. goth. Spr., i., 419; ii., 732 
(Sansk. ahis, sea, N. ahi, name of the serpent that surrounds the earth, 
i.e., the sea, aegir sea, lat. aequor), concludes that probably Ahti is among 
the Finns a word, like so many others, from the Old Norse tongue. 
Certainly the word cannot be explained through the Finnic ; a derivation 
from vaahti, foam, is not to be thought of. Grimm mentions Ahti in con- 
nection with the Germanic words ahva, aha, augia, aegir, etc., water, sea 
(D. MythoL, N., p. 82; Ueber DiphtJwngen, in his Kl. Schriften, iii., 
p. 122). It seems to me that Ahti comes nearer to the O. N. agi, aga (agdh), 
which means unrest, tumult, rather than to the other words above given. 


)f the waters ; but these are often called simply lord or 

ly of the ivaters {vecn iscinta, emdntd), nay, the water itself, 

n, is sometimes found invoked by its own name as a 

[ivine being. Those who have studied the origins of myths 

rill remember similar facts observable in the ancient 

'edic poetry and in that of other peoples, whence it 

jsults that nomina = mimina, and that, in a sense not mystic 

mt real, deus erat verbum before being deus. Names whose 

jtymology is no longer clear and present, like Ahti, 

'ellamo, and names that have an attributive sense, like 

'ielikki,^ the charming name for the goddess of the wood, 

become exclusively proper, personal nouns and thus have 

the effect of rendering the personifications more concrete, 

of giving them a more defined personality. They are 

specially used for what we may call the greater gods, 

since these preside over one of the various kingdoms into 

which nature is divided. There is a supreme god of the 

sky, Ukko (the old man), who has a wife (Akka, the old 

woman) ; there is a god and a goddess of the waters, Ahti, 

Vellamo ; a goddess of the earth, who, however, has no 

proper name, maan erncl (mother of the earth). Neither 

is there wanting a god of the field and of field labour, 

Pellervoinen ; as there is also a pair of wood gods, 

Tapio (name of foreign origin) ^ and his wife Mielikki. 

We are encouraged in this belief by the fact that the same name Ahti is 
given to the restless youth {lieto poika) Lemminkainen. 

Leaving out of consideration the termination mo, common to several 
proper names, Ahlqvist derives Vellamo from the root vete (water), stem 
veteld (abode of the v^aters) ; he makes it, that is to say, a contraction from 
veteldmo ; Suomen Mel. rakennus, p. 11, § 14. It seems to me, however, 
more probable that we have here the same root as the Finnic verb velloa, 
to shake, to agitate, Germ, wallen, wogen, and should compare it with the 
G,, welle ; O. H. G., walm ; A.-S., wyhn, wave; 0. SI. and R., val, wave; 
valiti, to roll; Pol., velna, wave (root vel.). 

I ^ Term of endearment, from mieli, soul, in the sense of the German 
gmiiith {mieluinen, dear, pleasing) ; it may be rendered by our darling. 

I 2 This name has certainly nothing to do with the Finnic tappaa, to 
1^11, as some have thought. I shoiild have traced it to the German stop, 


The nether world, too, the underground world of the 
dead, Manala or Tuonela, has its lord Mana or Tuoni, 
with his wife Tuonetar. All these, and others as well, 
receive the title of god, Jumala; and the Old Man of the 
Sky, Ukko, who thunders and lightens from on high, is 
called supreme god, Ylijumala. This word jumala came 
to express the generic idea of the divine being. It was 
so ready to express that idea when the Finns became 
Christian, that it served and still serves to translate the 
word deus in its Christian sense. Originally it indicated, 
as usual, one particular deity, that of the sky considered 
as the abode of the thunder whose rumbling is indicated 
in the onomatopoeic word jum, juma. This is one of the 
few Finnic words having to do with myth or divinities 
that find a parallel among some other related peoples.^ 

In all this mythological world of the Finns reigns the 
most complete individualism. There is no systematic 
organisation, no genealogical arrangement, no idea of 
government. All are independent in their sphere of do- 
minion. The supreme god, or rather the god above, is such 
because he lives on high ; but he commands no one ; the 
waters, the wood, the lower world are ruled by inde- 
pendent lords. These are sometimes called kings, with a 
word of foreign origin, kuningas, as the thing itself is 
foreign to the society in which the myth arose. This 
must not be taken more literally than must the other 

stab (Finn, tapi), perhaps because this god was originally worshipped under 
the form of a tree-trunk, a custom to be found also among the Germans. 
But the most likely idea appears to me that of Schiefner (in the transla- 
tion of Castren's Finn. Myth.), who recognises in the word the Christian 
Eustace, patron saint of the hunters, under the popular Russian form of 
the name Jevstafij, Astafij. Among the Esthonians the name of this god 
occurs in some songs under the form of Tabo, Taboane, Tabovane (with 
endings that are also found applied to some other words) : vid. Weske, 
Wana Eestlaste palwed tnetsa-jumalatele {TJie Worshi2) of the Wood- 
gods avwng the Ancient Esthonians), in the Annals of the Soc. of Esth, 
Liter. {Eesti kvrjameste seltsi aastaraamat), 1886-7, p. 10 et seq. 
^ Vid. Gastrin, F&reldsn. i Finsk Myth., p. 11 et seq. 


equivalent expressions, father, lord, ancient one, etc. 
The numerous minor deities of the wood, the waves, the 
lower world, are called the sons and daughters of the 
more important ones, their boys or girls, their people 
{vdki), but this only expresses poetically the affinity be- 
tween the elements of that whole. The ideas of father 
and son, husband and wife, have and retain the value of a 
poetical expression : there results no concrete, actual idea 
of a family, and still less of genealogical descent. The 
genealogical conception, so largely developed in Greek 
myth and epos, and becoming in the Scandinavian myth 
and saga a kind of mania, is entirely wanting in Finnic 
mythology and in the Finnic epos ; for the Finns were 
late in arriving at that historical sentiment of which 
ancient genealogy-making, in epos or in myth, is one of 
the first manifestations. Original naturalism is here 
plainly evident : every idea has remained in its place with 
little synthesis and without further elaboration into mythos 
properly so called, or into any history of divine beings. 

The personifications become concrete in persons an- 
thropomorphically distinct, with personal features ex- 
pressed for the most part by adjectives, some of which 
may even become stable and serve as nouns. Thus, as 
in Homer, Athena is ^XavKoiiri^, Hera ySowTrt?, so in the 
Finnic songs Tapio is kuipana (long neck), which becomes 
one of his names, is halliparta (red-beard), havahattu (with 
hat of pine needles), naavaturkki (with fur coat of moss), 
etc. Every one here recognises the poetical images under 
which are personified the wood, its plants, its wild animals. 
Neither are the qualifications wanting in character : thus 
Tapio is tarkka (exact, attentive), as becomes the ruler of 
th^ terrible wild beasts, and as such is invoked by the 
hunter. But there is no great development along the line 
of qualification ; the epithets are used for the most part 
ojbcasionally and hence also varyingly : thus the son of 
Tuoni, lord of the dead, is invoked as punaposki (red- 


cheeked) when his help is needed to tie up a vein, and as 
kouhkusormi (hook-fingered) when an iron-meshed net is to 
be woven.^ The magic songs offer a great number of ex- 
amples of this oscillation of the ideal according to circum- 
stances. Hence it happens that the types of these Finnic 
divinities are not formed with distinctness. Much in 
them is undetermined, and they appear for the most part 
as poetical images of things and facts rather than as dis- 
tinct mythic personages. We find a poetry that is in 
the act of forming the myth and the conception of the 
divinities; but these are still in fieri. Creatures in the 
course of formation, they appear rather passive than 
active ; they have power within the sphere of the phe- 
nomenon or thing they represent (Tapio can render the 
hunt successful or otherwise, Ahti can assure good or ill 
luck in fishing or in saihng), but they are both under the 
power of the word {sana) of the tietaja who has created 
them. As persons they are rigid and lifeless, having 
neither loves, nor hatreds, nor wars. There is no society 
of gods, and hence no place where they come together : 
no Olympus, no Asagard. We may add that the divinity 
is quite without ethical significance : it has no connection 
whatever with the moral world, and if in any song an 
ethic function is assigned to a divine being. Christian in- 
fluence is clear and unmistakable. Neither is there any 
genetic relation between man and god ; there is, as we 
have said, no trace of genealogical idea in any of these 
myths, whether divine or heroic. There is a myth of the 
creation, but it says nothing of the origin of man ; Vaina- 
moinen's birth is narrated, but he never appears as the 
father of the human race. This scanty development 
in the myth of the ideals of the deities, of their 
personality and anthropomorphic action, this want of 
a society, of a history in the divine world, necessarily 

^ Gastrin, Allmiin Ofersigt af Finnarnes gudaldra, etc. {Nord. res. och. 
forskn., vi.), p. 17 et seq. 


entail in the epos a special condition for the hero-type ; 
he is as imperfectly ^eoetS/;? as the god is imperfectly 
dvOpa)7ro€LBr]^. Neither can there be perfect homogeneity 
and continuity between the divine heroic types, when it 
cannot be said, as the Greeks said, ev avhpwv, ev he Ogmv 
yevo^, etc fjbLa<^ 8e Trveo/xev ixarpo^ aix^orepoi. But the Finnic 
hero and his relations with the divine beings have a 
nature and an explanation peculiarly their own. 

In the last analysis we find that the original and 
proper character of the Finnic mythology is that which 
distinguishes shamanic beUef, or generally speaking, that 
which is called animism. This is, as Tiele well defines it,^ 
" a doctrine varied, confused, undetermined, an unorganised 
polydaemonism, which does not, however, exclude the 
belief in a supreme spirit, though in practice this commonly 
bears but little fruit : characterised in the next place by 
magic, which rarely rises into real worship ". The con- 
ception of the divine beings is faint and not elevated ; 
they are rather spirits or genii than gods. In fact 
the world, according to the Finnic idea, is quite peopled 
with spirits ; everything has its haltia, every tree, 
every hill, every lake, every waterfall, etc. Neither is 
the difference always marked between haltia and jtcmala, 
although the latter is understood to be superior to 
the former. The jumala differs from the haltia as 
the general differs from the particular, as the idea of 
wood differs from that of each tree that composes it ; but 
though the breadth of dominion differs, the nature is 
identical, and Tapio, for instance, is no less haltia than he 
is jumala of the wood (metsan). Although this word haltia 
is certainly of foreign origin,^ yet the idea expressed by it 

^ Outlines of the History of Religion, p. 10, § 9. 

^Castren, F. Myth., p. 172, limits himself to "probably". Not so 
Thomsen, Ueber den Einfluss, etc., p. 134, s. v. hallitsen. This word, with 
the same meaning of tutelary genius, also exists in Esthonia {haldias, 
hallias) ; Finnic and Lapp have the word hallita (haldet) signifying to hold. 


is thoroughly Finnic and ancient ; and I should not 
hesitate to add that among the Finns it is anterior to the 
higher idea represented by jumala, of which we have 
already given the original meaning. 

The idea of an incorporal being of daemonic nature 
accompanying and presiding over everything, is also applied 
to man ; who has his haltia or haifKov as we see in the 
magic songs.^ Of the soul in the Christian sense the Finns 
had no idea, except through outside influences ; as is proved 
by the foreign word sjelu, which they use in this sense. 
The idea of spirit, however, exists (henki), and as usual, 
since the incorporal is stronger than the corporal, with 
supernatural attributes, as in the German Geist. This 
spirit has its haltia or nature (luonto) that personifies its 
animating principle ; and which, as happens in personifica- 
tions, is confounded with the spirit itself. So that men 
endowed with superior qualities like the shamans or 
tietdjdt can momentarily leave the corporal shell, and, 
becoming free spirits, act as haltiat. Even at the present 
time the Finnic wizard, heir of the ancient shamans, falls 
fainting at the height of his invocations, of the frenzied 
writhings in which he seems struck with epilepsy. This 
state is called "becoming haltia" (olla haltiaksi); and 
it is understood that, his spirit becoming free or haltia, 
he goes into the spirit world, descends into the regions of 
the dead, receives or learns what he wants, and uses or 

rule, protect, with the substantive haltti (halddo), dominion, protection. 
The German origin of these words is perfectly clear ; the first, funda- 
mental meaning of the family of Germanic words to which the Mod. 
Germ, halten belongs (A.-S. haldan, Goth, haldan, 0. N. halda, to hold, 
rule, herd flocks) is exactly that of the Finnic vocable. This family, how- 
ever, does not include Jiolde, which has also a meaning like that of lialtia 
(good genius, domestic genius), although it has been proposed to refer that 
word to the same root as halten ; from holdc (Iwld) is certainly derived 
the Esthonian halde, which signifies just so much as the Modern German 
adjective hold. 

^ Vid. the following chapter. 


reveals it on his return to corporal life. This is common 
to the Finns and other shamanic peoples. It has its 
value and effect in the development of poetry, in the 
formation of poetical ideals. He v^^ho is capable of action 
of this kind, and can dominate nature by force of magic, 
exercises the highest degree of power that a man can arrive 
at, making himself equal to the superior beings, becoming 
more than human and commanding them. Among a 
people not essentially warlike and which has not therefore 
incarnated bodily force poetically, as so many others have 
done, in its hero-type, the wizard is the true ijpco^, the 
true rjixideo^. Not without reason does he love to call 
himself in his songs uros, a noble word, expressing powerful, 
vigorous manhood, which may be translated hero. We 
shall come back to the subject, which is fundamental in 
the study of the epos in this nation. 

If Finnic mythology be compared with that of the 
Greeks, of the Scandinavians, or in general with that of 
the Indo-European nations, it will be found that the 
development of the myth from the naturalistic idea was, 
among the Finns, very much smaller than it was in India, 
in Iran, as well as in Greece, Italy, and among the Scan- 
dinavians. It stopped short at a lower grade ; it may be 
called even elementary beside its lofty, broad and com- 
plete elaboration among the peoples just named. But if 
a similar comparison is made with other Ugro-Finnic 
peoples, a superiority of development will be observable 
that may even be called wealth beside the poverty of the 
myth of these peoples, who have remained almost entirely 
in their primitive condition of untempered naturalism. 
The Lapps themselves, so near to the Finns linguistically, 
have a mythology scarcely worthy of the name, so poor is 
it in names and in mythic conceptions properly so called ; 
and this although they remained shamanists longer and 
more entirely than the Finns. This superiority is due 
to the production among the Finns of a special poetry. 


peculiar to themselves, in the bosom of which the natural- 
istic idea, poetically worked out, could ripen into varied 
and manifold personifications and, up to a certain point, 
develop into myth. We speak of what may be called 
the religious poetry of shamanism, the shamanic poetry, 
the song of the tietdjdt or magic song. 

The intermediary between man and god is, in the 
Finnic religion, the shaman or tietdjd, with his arts, his 
secret knowledge, and the power this confers on him. 
He is even more completely the intermediary than the 
priest is in other religions. To him does the Finn have 
recourse when he needs the help or protection of superior, 
unknown beings, or defence against them. He it is who 
knows these beings, who boasts of knowing them 
thoroughly, saying to them, in an oft-recurring formula : 
Kylld md sukusi tiedn, " Well do I know your race ". He it 
is who can influence and dominate them ; and, we may 
also add, he it is who makes them. Let him become a 
poet, and the magic word at first rude and formless will 
take the shape of poetry, will become song; he will per- 
sonify in spirits, demons or gods, the idea of the things to 
which his song is addressed, will embody them and mould 
them into distinct personalities : the myth will take form 
and be developed. Neither is the procedure different in 
other religions, based on other principles than the idea of 
magic. In these the prayer accompanying sacrifice becomes 
poetical, a song, a hymn ; and the sacrificer or priest who 
composes the hymn is the most fruitful creator of myth. 
The ancient Vedic hymns, in which we see the myth in 
course of formation, are a clear witness and example 
of this. In spite of the profound difference between the 
Vedic hymn, closely connected with sacrifice, hieratic in 
spirit and imbued with the ethic element, and the simple, 
lay magic song of the Finns, the Finnic laulaja or tietdjd 
has a part in the formation of the myth not unlike that of 
the ancient Indian rishi With this difference, that since 


the conception of the superior beings is dominated among 
the Finns by that of the power of the shaman, these 
beings appear rather passive than active, and if they act 
and move, do so through him and under his manipula- 
tion. It is in the magic song that v^e see them in action. 
Ukko, generally distant and immovable, moves and acts 
at the disappearance of the celestial luminaries and of fire. 
He runs up and down the sky with his blue-stockinged 
legs {sinisukha), and impatient of the darkness strikes his 
sword {thimderbolt) against his nail and produces a spark 
which gives fire back to men : this is the myth with the 
divinity in action, but we find it in the magic song on the 
origin of fire ^ Consequently the Finnic epos never repre- 
sents the deity as mixing with men, as taking part in 
heroic action, as do the Greek and German epos : it re- 
presents him as acting only under the influence of prayer 
and magic songs, or when the heroes have shamanic 
attributes and powers, are wizards. It is true we find 
divine beings in the Kalevala, but this is principally due 
to the numerous magic songs introduced into it by Lonn- 
rot. The magic song is really the primitive poetry of the 
Finns, the most ancient among their traditions, their 
poetry par excellence. Hence, as we have seen, the 
equivalence of the words wizard, poet, wise man {loitsijd, 
laulaja or runoja, tietdjd), and the mysterious character of 
the word runo, which signifies poetry. We may also 
observe here, as being in accordance with the facts we are 
now considering, that mythic beings and conceptions sel- 
dom issue from the purely poetical region of the songs. 
The very numerous popular prose narratives, legends or 
stories contain a small proportion in comparison with 
what is found existing in traditional poetry.^ 

^ Loitsurun, p. 366 et seq. ; Kalevala, rune xlvii. 

2 Vid. Rudbek, Om Finnarnes Folkdikt i ohunden herdttande Form, 
p. 26 et seq. ; Schiefner, TJeher den Mythengehalt d. jinn. Mdrchen, in 
the Melanges russes, ii. 


Since the magic song has a practical scope, mythic 
conceptions are formed and developed in it in more or less 
accordance with the greater or smaller need the wizard may- 
have of addressing his words, his action, to some objects 
rather than to others. The myth of the celestial deities 
is httle developed, little also that of the terrestrial or 
rather telluric deities (earth, mountains, etc.). There is 
the myth reflecting agricultural labour, but it bears 
signs of being comparatively recent. The most ancient 
condition of the Finns was not agricultural ; Sampsa 
Pellervoinen has a first name which is biblical (Samson), 
and a second which comes from pelto, field, which is 
simply the German Feld} The myth of the waters, on 
the other hand, and especially that of the wood, are more 
anciently rooted and have undergone greater developments 
This is easily explicable among a people living in a 
country so surrounded and cut into by waters as is Fin- 
land, the land of a thousand lakes (tuhansen jdrveen maa), 
a land of fishers and seafarers which still furnishes 
excellent pilots ; a well-wooded land whose principal 
resource now lies in its timber trade, and which even in 
ancient times drew a large income from the chase of fur 
animals. It was in the chase, rather than in war, that 
the Finnic bows, so celebrated among the Scandinavians, 
were used till within recent times. Vast, then, is the 
domain of Ahti, lord of the waters ; vast is that of Tapio, 
lord of the wood ; numerous are their people (vdki), the 
family of mythic beings grouped around them ; great is 
the wealth of both of them, the first being lord over a 
hundred well-stocked caves (Satahauan hallitsa), the second 

' Mention is found in Narbutt and other authors (c/. HanuS, Wissensch, 
d. Slaw. Mjjthns, p. 330) of a Smik Perlevenu among the Lithuanians, 
whose name and office appear identical with those of Pellervoinen among 
the Finns. The structure of the name Pellervoinen is, however, so 
decidedly Finnic that we should rather believe the Finns to have taken 
this word from the Lithuanians than vice versd. 


over an ample store-house {avara Tapion aitta). Trees, 
woods, lakes, rivers were the principal objects of Finnic 
culture, and some rivers and lakes still prove this by their 
name of holy river (PyJidjoki), holy lake (Pyhcijdrvi). 
Especially abundant among the magic songs are those 
relating to the chase of birds and of wild beasts, to the 
wood, to plants of all kinds, to animals, whether a source 
of gain or of danger, bears, serpents and the like, to the 
protection of cattle. Warm and attractive poetry clothes 
Tapio and MieHkki with forms, and dresses and peoples 
the forest with a great number of fantastic beings of 
various kinds, for the most part female. To these it 
frequently gives charming names, as that of Mielikki her- 
self, Tuuhkki, Tyytikki ; sometimes even Christian ones, 
as Annikki, Elina, Eeva, etc. Poetic imagination here 
reaches the point of describing a variety of costumes worn 
by the gods of the wood, which are more or less rich, 
according as the gods are more or less disposed to favour 
the huntsman ; and it also describes castles of varying 
richness or poverty, in which they go to live, according to 
the dispositions they manifest. This is, however, cer- 
tainly a product of small antiquity, for the ancient Finns 
knew nothing of castles.^ 

There is another process of personification and of 
myth-creation differing in its starting-point from that 
which reflects the facts and things of living, present 
nature : that, namely, which refers to the idea of the 
world beyond the tomb, of Hell, of the region of the 
dead. Here, in addition to the material fact of death 
and of lying underground, there often exists the idea, 
expressed under various forms, of a further existence; 
though this idea is sometimes wanting. Widely dif- 
fused among the shamanists is the belief in the spirits of 
the dead, in their foresight and their power and in an 

^ Linnd, which now means castle, is a Finnic word, but originally 
signified height, hill-top ; vid. Ahlqvist, Die Culturwdrter, etc., p. 182. 


action they have upon the hving ; an action, however, 
which the shaman can control and even use, turning it to 
his own ends. But, as a rule, these spirits, even those 
wandering through the air, invisible to all but the 
shaman, have no other dwelling, except that where 
the dead body lies. This is certainly the most ancient 
idea of the Finns, as it is among other, related peoples.^ 
The idea of a special region for the dead is, however, 
found among the Finns, as it is among the Lapps and 
some Tatar peoples of southern Siberia.^ In the concep- 
tion of the Hell formed by these latter, Buddhistic influence 
may be recognised, just as, among the Lapps and Finns, the 
influence is clear of the nearest European peoples, among 
whom penetrated the Greco-Ko'man, and afterwards the 
Christian idea. This part of the Finnic myth is one of the 
most developed. There is a fairly well-defined idea of the 
region of the dead, of the deity who presides over it, and 
of the other beings who rule down there. Here also, 
however, there is no organic connection in the relation- 
ships of the various personalities who are mentioned ; 
and the image or poetical expression does not attain to 
the presentment of a design so defined and stable as 
is that of the Greek Hades, or even of the Scandinavian 
Niflheim ; though the influence of this last is clearly trace- 
able. The primary idea is here not, as it is for a tree, the 
wood, the sky, etc., that of a person, but of a place ; be- 
cause, whether burnt or not, the corpses are buried,^ and the 

^ Vid. Gastrin, FGrelds, i. d. Finsk myth., p. 121 et seq. ; Max Buch, 
Die Wotjaken, p. 142 et seq. 

^ Gastrin, op. cit., p. 128 ; Friis, Lappisk Mythologi, pp. 112 et seq., 125 
et seq. ; RadlofE, Aus Siberien, ii., p. 9 et seq. 

3 Archseological researches show that cremation was common in 
ancient times both among the Finns and the Esthonians. Vid. Aspelin, 
Antiquit^s du nard Finno-ougrien, pp. 260, 326 et seq. ; Suomcn asukkaat 
pakanmiden aikana {The Inliabitants of Finland in Pagan Times), p. 47. 
There were, however, many burials without cremation ; and the latter is 
not mentioned in the traditional songs. Cf. Krohn, Berdttelser ur Finska 
historien, p. 73. 


idea of going widergrouTid or of staying underground becomes 
general and abstract in the fantastic conception of a 
subterranean locality where all the dead men go and live 
together. This locality is called Mmiala or Tuonela. The 
first name simply means underground {maan ala) ; the 
second has certainly nothing to do with Tod or with 
6dvafo<;, as Castren thinks, nor with the Germanic god 
Thonar, as Krohn suggests/ but expresses indefinitely and 
euphemistically the there {tuomie) where the dead go, the 
other dwelling ; almost, as we should say, the other world, 
or the Germans d. Jenseits ; or, as the Greeks used to say 
in the same sense with more perfect correspondence, 
eVet, ifceL(T€, with ol €K€l, the dead.^ From the idea of the 
locality arose the personification of it ; the idea, that is, 
of a being who represents and rules it, as Tapio does the 
wood, Ahti the waters, etc. And the name of this 
personage is formed from the locality itself : Tuonela 
gives Tuoni, Manala gives Mana, Tuonela and Manala 
appearing ^ by analogy with Ahtola, Tapiola, etc., one as 
the Abode of Mana, the other as the Abode of Tuoni. Thus 
was the infernal deity created, the king or lord of the dead, 
Mana or Tuoni. Following the analogy of kingdoms, 
Tuoni has a wife, Tuonetar, and a son, Tuonen poika. 
He rules over a number of beings of various signification, 
referring, like Raima (the stench of the corpses) and 
others, to death, or also to the ills which cause it. This 
lower world is surrounded by a black, rapid river ; it has 
animals and wild beasts as the earth has ; and it is in 
general conceived under the evident influence of the idea 

^ Suomal. Kirjall. hist., p. 296. 

2 In magic exorcisms we frequently find the formula, Mene tuonne 
kunne kdsken (" Go thither where I bid you "), speaking to an ill ; and the 
place whither the ill is banished is afterwards said to be Hell, or some other 
equivalent abode of ills. In the friction occasioned by use Tuonnela 
becomes Tuonela, as Maanala becomes Manala. 

3 In Manala the ending la only appears to represent what it really doe& 
in Tuonela, Tapiola, etc. 


commonly diffused in Europe from classic times to the 
spread of Christianity. 

These fantastic conceptions were formulated and 
developed through the idea, common as we have seen to 
shamanism, of the prophetic gifts and the power of 
the spirits of the dead, and of the shaman's relation 
to them when, falling into ecstasy, his spirit goes to beg 
their protection and to interrogate them. In the poetry 
of the magic songs the shaman has occasion to describe 
and populate Hell principally in his quality of medicine- 
man. For he treats illnesses, wounds, etc., magically, 
personifying them, defining their nature and origin under 
images of poetical fancy, assigning them the region of the 
dead as their fatherland ; thus he makes Kipu-tytto, the 
maiden of pains, Tuoni's daughter, and the cruel, black 
Loviatar (Louhiatar) mother of nine malignant ills.^ 

The epos offers an opportunity for the development of 
the myth of Hell in the motive, found among the Finns as 
among other peoples, of heroic enterprise pushed to the 
furthest extremes of difficulty : to the violation of the 
rigid kingdom of the dead, which never gives nor gives 
back, by the carrying off of an animal or a thing, or even 
by wresting its prey from it, as in Lemminkainen's 
adventure and his resurrection. The shamanic idea, too, 
of which we have spoken above, of the relations of the 
shaman to the spirits of the dead and of the wisdom 
and prophetic powers of these latter, affords occasion in 
the Finnic epos for describing Hell. Vainamoinen de- 
scends thither to get the three magic words he was in 
need of ; and incidents of this kind, although they recall 
the classic Descents among the Dead, like that of ^neas, 
and Odin's descent into Niflheim, yet were without doubt 
first born among the Finns from the shamanic idea. 

It is common among many peoples to attribute to the 

^ Loitsztnmf p. 822 et seq. ; Ealevala^ rune zlv. 


dead a nature almost daemonic and a knowledge superior 
to that of the living. The Finns found this custom among 
the European peoples with whom they came in contact, 
but gave it the special impress that characterises this idea 
among shamanists. The shamanic knowledge and power 
is the special gift of but few men, who do not lose it when 
they die, but rather continue to possess it to a still higher 
degree as spirits : thus do the shamanists think, consider- 
ing the spirits of dead shamans as more powerful and 
redoubtable than those of other men. The Finnic Hell, 
then, unites within itself all the shamanic wisdom of past 
generations, grown more imposing in the daemonic nature 
that the dead acquire ; and Tuoni, who personifies this 
Hell, knows more than any living tietdjd. For this reason 
the greatest and most powerful tietdjd among men, 
Vainamoinen, when his knowledge fails him, descends 
into the lower regions and has recourse to Tuoni for the 
magic words which he does not know or has forgotten. 
Here the elaboration of the Finnic myth displays a certain 
depth of conception. This may also be observed in 
another mythic form worked out from the same idea : 
Vipunen ; regarding the meaning of which many scholars 
have speculated in vain. Their suggestions have been too 
far-fetched.^ This gigantic corpse who has lain long 
years underground, above whom plants and great trees 
have grown up, who, awakened by the man, opens his 
huge mouth and swallows him so that the intruder slips 

1 Principally Aspelin, Kalevalan tutkimuksia, p. 123 et seq., who makes 
him a celestial {thunder) and solar deity. Donner {Index of Names in the 
Kalevala, ed. 1887) thinks that Vipunen means archer, and was originally 
a god of the chase. Beauvais {La magie chez les Finnois, in the Bevzie 
de Vhistoire des religions, 1882) thinks that Vipunen represents the moun- 
tain and his myth refers to mining work. Krohn has given us a good 
critical work on this subject, Viptisen taru {The Myth of Vipunen), in 
the Valvoja of 1883, p. 459 et seq. He justly demolishes the explanations 
of others, but finds nothing to propose in their stead, and concludes that 
this is the remains of some ancient myth of whose being and primitive 
condition nothing certain can be known. 



down into his immense belly — this corpse who is said to 
have crunched and gulped down men, heroes by the 
hundred, by the thousand,^ is simply Hell. We may call 
to mind a like development of the idea of Hell among 
European peoples from classical antiquity onwards 
through the Middle Ages to the Ogre (It. orco) who, like 
the Holle of the Germanic Middle Ages,^ devours men 
with his huge mouth (Orci fauces) in our popular tales, 
and to the monster by means of which art represents the 
lower world, a monster into whose immense wide-open 
mouth men fall in crowds. Thus in the magic songs for 
exorcising evils we find the evil banished to the mouth or 
to the belly of Vipunen ^ as it is to the burial ground, to 
Hell, or to other places of death or misfortune.^ 

^ Jo olen syonyt sa' an urosta Tuhonnuttuhannen miesta. — Kalevala, 
xvii., 157. 

2 Grimm, D. MythoL, p. 261 et seq. 

3 Suuhun Antero Vipusen 
Vatsahan vara-vakevan. 

* The influence of Christianity and also the example offered by the 
names of the bogatyrs in the Russian byliny have caused the Finns 
to prefix to a few mythic names a first name, which is generally Christian ; 
thus Pellervoinen is called Sampsa, which is Samson (which among the 
Russians becomes the name of a Bogatyr), thus Vipunen is called Antero, 
which simply means Andrew (Antti) among the Finns of Finland. (Among 
the Finns of Russia Andrew is called Ontrei, after the fashion of the 
Russians.) This first name has no mythic value, and it is useless to look 
in it and in the numerous corruptions it undergoes in the mouth of 
the popular singers {Ankervo, Antervo, Kantervo, etc.) for any deep mean- 
ing, as Aspelin does {op. cit., p. 146 et seq.). Krohn has clearly observed this 
in the work above quoted, p. 463. 

As to the name Vipunen, its origin is doubtful. There exists in Finnic 
the word vipu, meaning a tree, bent with, a slip-knot at the top to catch 
game, the cradle hung up to rock, lever, see-saw, etc. It is also found in 
Esthonian, where it means a bow, hence the name Viboane, of a fabulous 
archer of whom Fahlmann speaks {Verhandl. d. gel. ehstn. Oesellsch., ii., 
1848, p. 64), whose authenticity, however, Krohn doubts {op. cit., p. 473), 
and who in any case has nothing to do with Vipunen. In this vipu, as in 
vivata, to vibrate, we may recognise the Germanic root vip (G. Wipfel, 
Wippe, Wippen, etc.), but it seems to have nothing to do with the explana- 
tion of Vipunen. Nearer its meaning seems to come the word vaipua, to 


The general theme of this personification has been 
to a certain extent influenced by the ideas of neigh- 
bouring peoples ; but it is nevertheless original in form, 
with details (dead, underground, trees, etc.) that, as is 
general in Finnic myth, clearly reveal the meaning, and 
bear a decided shamanic impress. The quality of the 
shamanic sage, of tietdjd, predominates in Vipunen even 
more than in Tuoni. This is the sense of the epithets 
that distinguish the former : rich in verses or in (magic) 
songs, virsikds; strong in resources, varavdkevd; powerful, 
mahtipontinen ; great sage, suuritieto. Hence Vainamoinen 
goes to Vipunen for the three magic words just as' he 
does to Tuoni in the nether world. In the minds of the 
popular singers the two ideas are equivalent : Lonnrot in 
composing the Kalevala has here, as in other places, intro- 
duced two variants of the same incident, forming out of 
them two successive incidents. 

Since ethical ideas are, as we have said, wholly 
foreign to Finnic myth, the Finnic Hell does not imply 

fall prostrate, which is used in connection with dying and dead men. For 
example : — 

Uupunehen untimehen 

Vaipunehen vaipun alle. 

But the passage of vai to vi is not easy. Well adapted is the Lithuanian 
viep or vep, which expresses the remaining open-mouthed (viepsau, vepsau, 
to remain open-mouthed ; viepelis, vepelis, a gaper ; German, Maulaffe, 
etc.). Vipunen is essentially a mouth, a great mouth, suuri suu (Kalevala, 
xvii., 100) ; & faux, like the orcus ; or, like Holle, is a gaffender, gahnender 
Rachen. Cf. also the Lapp vuoppot, to devour, swallow. 

The nature of this work does not permit me to enter into the details 
of Vainamoinen's descent into Vipunen. It is enough that I have hinted 
at the meaning and first reason of this mythic being. Another personifica- 
tion of the lower world may be seen in Untamo (not to be confounded with 
the Untamo of the Kullervo rune), the sleeper (from unifartit. unta, sleep) 
who lies stretched on the ground [maan venyjd) of whom Vainamoinen asks 
information {Kalevala, v., 15 et seq.), but this is a secondary formation, 
founded on the apparent etymology of the name Untamo, combined with 
the idea of Vipunen, sleeping underground. Cf. Krohn in the Valvoja, 
1883, p. 469. 


a place of punishment ; and this is in fact originally the 
case also with regard to the Greek Hades and the Scan- 
dinavian Niflheim. The hint found in the Kalevala (xvi., 
401 et seq.) at the punishment of the wicked in the nether 
world, is evidently of Christian origin.^ The place of 
torment is the Christian hell, which is distinguished by 
the Scandinavian name helvetti and occurs with other 
Christian names and ideas in the magic songs ; but in 
spite of the frequent confusion of the pagan idea with the 
Christian, and the ease with which the former takes on 
the shape of the latter, helvetti still remains quite distinct 
from Tuonela or Manala. The ethic idea is not, however, 
connected even with the helvetti in the magic song : it is 
one of those evil places whence come the hurtful beings 
against whom the wizard fights, or whither he banishes 

Since the tietdjd, whether as doctor or as wizard, has 
chiefly to do with evils of every kind, the poetry of the 
magic songs has ample occasion for the personification 
not only of single evils, but also of evil in the more ab- 
stract and generic sense of the word, and for its fantastic 
localisation. Many and various are the imaginary regions 
from which evils spring or to which they are relegated, 
many and various are the malign beings which, whether 
connected with them or not, produce evil. These 
beings are rather elves than gods ; and are for the most 
part derived from Christianity or from the popular ideas 
of Germanic peoples, which abound in sprites of this sort. 
Paha (the evil, the malign one) is drawn from Christian 
expressions indicating the devil, or also translates the 
Swedish hin Onde ; Juntas is Judas become an evil genius ; 
Perkele is Perkunas, the god of thunder among the Lithu- 
anians, become a demon among Finns ; Piru is Perun, 
the god of thunder among the Slavs, become among the 

^ Thus also Gastrin, op. cit, p. 157. 


Finns the devil in the Christian sense of the word. 
Lempo, another maleficent being, or demon, is a name of 
dubious etymology, which most singularly appears almost 
identical with lempi, the word for love. The reasoning 
by which Castren reduces them, notwithstanding the 
antagonism of this meaning, to one and the same word, 
seems forced. They probably come from different roots, 
and the very close resemblance is only apparent ; as is 
also the case with the ''Epcoq and "£/3t<? of the Greeks.^ 

But the evil genius par excellence, the one who is most 
often mentioned, is Hiisi. Not only does he constantly 
figure in the magic songs, but also in the epos : in Lem- 
minkainen's enterprises for the horse, for the elk of 
Hiisi ; and where he causes Vainamoinen's axe to glance 
aside and inflict a wound in the knee, etc. He is a 
malignant, spiteful being ; so Satanic that in common 
parlance mene Hiiten, go to Hiisi, translates the go to the 
devil of other peoples. He is lord of a whole tribe of the 
same nature ; and has his own abode or region, Hiitola, in 
which, as in Manala, exist animals of marvellous attri- 
butes. His chief dwelling-place is the thick forest, the 
wooded mountain. Mention is often made of his coals, 
partly for the sake of alliteration {hiili, coal), partly as a 
reminiscence of the coals of the Christian hell, partly 

^ Lempi expresses love, grace, delicacy. It calls to mind the Lithu- 
anian lepski (lempu), to make oneself delicate ; lepHmas, delicacy, softness ; 
the Latin lepor, lepidus. 

Lempo, as I believe, is a word of Germanic origin. It represents 
primarily the attributes of halt, or lame, applied to the devil (hinkebein) ; 
cf. Grimm, D. Mythol., p. 829. It has the meaning of the A.-S. limb- 
healt, lemp-healt, lame ; 0. H. G. limfan, limphan, to halt ; E. limp. The 
Esthonian has Idmp-jalg, foot turned outwards ; lampama, to limp ; Idmpu, 
lampu-jalg, halting on account of an imperfection in the feet. Cf. G. 
lahvi. Lemboi is found among the Russians in the sense of devil or evil 
spirit, but only in the northern provinces near the Finns {vid. Rybnikof?, 
Pjesni, iv., p. 220 et seq.), from whom the Russians have drawn the name. 
Cf. Rybnikofi, op. cit., iv., p. 280 ; Grot, Filologiceskjia razyskanija, i., p. 


because Hiisi and his people are considered, like corre- 
sponding beings in the German myth, as skilful in the 
art of the smith. A further development applies the 
same idea to other parts of nature, distin^i^ishing a Hiisi 
of the wood, Metmn fl"i«i, a Hiisi of the waters, of the 
mountain (Veden Hiisi ^ Vttoren Hiisi) ^ etc. The traditions 
also speak of the Hiid^i, together with the Jattildiset or 
giants, as an aboriginal population, to whom are attri- 
buted the remains of ancient constructions or habita- 
tions.^ Originally, as Castren well argues, Hiisi is a god 
or genius of the wood, a kind of evil-natured sylvattus. 
We may add that the plural Hiidst certainly precedes the 
singular Hiisi y which springs from the plural just as 
Inferno does from Inferi, or among the Finns Manalainen, 
another name for Mana or Tuoni, from the plural 
ManaUUsett Inferi, These Hiidet, then, taken by some 
people seriously as the name of an ancient popula- 
tion, are simply the variously-named WaldgeisUr of the 
German myths, who are also mixed and confused with 
the Riesen, Especially do they represent in their origin 
the Wilde LeuU of German traditions.^ The very name 
Hiidet tells us this. It has certainly nothing to do with 
the Lapp seida (domestic genius), as Lonnrot would have, 
but comes, as I believe, from that ancient G^erman term 
(Goth, haithms, A,-S. haMm, O. N. heidhenn, etc.) which 
afterwards came to mean pagan (G. Heide, heathen, etc.), 
but which originally meant a rustic^ The word must 
have been adopted by the Finns in somewhat ancient 
times ; when it had already a disagreeable meaning, bat 
while the first meaning was still remembered. The 
poetry of the Hetdjdi developed among them its meaning 

* Vid, the list of the remains so called by the people and of the 
various names of a like nature, edited by A. Hjelt, in Smomi^ 1882, pp. 370 
«( seg., 386 «t seq, 

* Cf. Orimm, D. Jfy/A,, pp. 396 «l 309. and 458. 

' Via. Kluge, Etym, nifrterb d. demtach. Spr,, s. t. Heide. 


of evil beings, and ended by comprising these with other 
malevolent beings, as Perkele, Juntas, etc., for whose 
names Hiisi has become an equivalent, and with the devil 
of the Christians ; but although they gave to Hiisi as to 
others the title of evil pagan, paha pahana, yet they did 
not, in expressing the idea of pagan, follow the German 
usage, but adopted the Latin word learnt from the 
Lithuanians and the liussians. 

To the list of fantastic localities of regions ill-omened 
or malign in character, producers or harbourers of ills, we 
must add Pohjola, important for the part it takes in 
the epos and therefore subject to much discussion. Poh- 
jola has this characteristic, that it is really localised : it 
lies in the north. No other mythic region has a location 
in the actual world ; there is, therefore, in the epos 
no defined field of action except when the action takes 
place in Pohjola. Outside Pohjola events occur in the 
indefinite; since the names Saari, Untamola, Vainola, 
etc., tell us nothing. Nevertheless Pohjola is an entirely 
fantastic country imagined by the tietdjdt in their songs 
for the definition of certain evils. Pohja means bottom, 
Swed. botten, an idea found in the name Bothnia, and in 
that by which the Finns call eastern Bothnia, Pohjanmaa. 
To this first meaning is united that of a northern country, 
and precisely, the generic idea of the north. Pohjola 
is therefore the abode at the bottom or north, the abode or 
region of the extreme north. The evils that afflict the 
Finns and other northern peoples, as ice, snow, cold winds 
of winter, darkness, have their roots in a region still 
further north, from which they issue forth. It is a remote 
region, existing we do not exactly know where ; but 
in what direction is clearly shown by the icy breath 
of Boreas which comes out from it. It is an outer land 
{ulkomaa) on the northern confines of the earth, essentially 
dark {pimed) and cold (kyimd), the country of Pakkanen 
(icy coldness). It is a wretched land, fatal to men and 


heroes, a land of briars (sariola), of wild forests, of fierce 
beasts. Sun and moon are never seen there, but visible 
in the eternal night is the coloured cover (kyrjokansi) or the 
star-studded vault of the sky. It is a fearsome imagination 
that corresponds to what Pliny says of the far north : 
** Pars mundi damnata a rerum natura et densa mersa 
cahgine " (iv., 12). Here, as in Tuonela and Manala, the 
idea of a locahty comes first, but before long the personi- 
fication follows in one or more beings who inhabit it, rule 
it, express in their own action its character and nature. 
Pohjola has a lord, isdntd, ukho, but above all, a lady, to 
whom are applied epithets, sometimes even insulting, 
indicative of depravity and malignity. The feminine idea 
prevails because in the magic songs in which Pohjola 
is used as representing certain evils, especially cold, the 
country is essentially a bringer-forth, a generator of evils. 
Hence it is personified as a female being who mates with 
wind and brings forth cold,^ with something else and 
gives birth to the wolf,^ by the wind conceives the dog,^ 
and is also the mother of sicknesses,* etc. Hence the 
constant epithet, whore {portto), applied in the magic and 
epic songs to the lady of Pohjola, who, as an expression 
of her malignant nature, is represented as old, black, 
toothless (harvahammas, with teeth far apart), and has a 
daughter who is also black. She and her people are also 
blind, with shut eyes (soked, umpisilmd), like those who 
live in darkness. Pohjola, being thus the seat of evils and 
darkness, has some elements in common with Manala, 
the kingdom of the dead.^ The name Louhi, given to the 
lady of Pohjola rather ii) the magic than in the epic 

^ Loitsurun., n. 28 b. " Jbid., n. 40 c. 

3 Ibid., n. 16. * Ibid., n. 34 a, d. 

' This does not mean that they are one and the same thing, as Aspelin 
thinks, starting from an erroneous principle, Kalcvalan tutkimuksia, pp. 19 
et seq., 24. Mythic conceptions whose diverse origin is patent are in the 
magic runes easily interchangeable, and converge in related ideas. 


runes/ or Louhiatar, is equivalent to that of Loviatar, 
daughter of Tuoni, mother of sicknesses : an epithet 
which in the magic runes is often apphed to the lady of 
Pohjola. She is malignant and hated, but may also 
be good, and men may pray to her. For the tietdjcu 
turns to her in the spell against fire, that she may send 
ice, snow, sleet and heavy rain to tame the fatal fury of 
the flames ; ^ and he also turns to her as lady of the far 
north where in the wild woods are the lairs of innumer- 
able fur animals, that she may favour and crown the 
perilous enterprise of the metsestdjd, or hunter of wild 

But among the evils which the tietaja has to combat 
and conjure there is one most terrible of all : the magician 
who can by his arts send sicknesses and produce evils of 
every sort. The magic song on the origin of sicknesses 
makes Loviatar bear nine children, to whom their mother 
gives the names of sicknesses, colic, gout, etc., except the 
last, of whom she makes a hurtful magician, a velho 
maleficent in every place (katehiksi, kaikin paikoin).* Now 
these evil, hurtful magicians are defined not with the 
names of fabulous beings, but with the real name of 
Lapps, and are the real, true Lapps, known from ancient 
times for their magic. 

Very frequent in the magic songs is the mention of 
the Lapp {Lappalainen, Lappi) in this sense, and also of 
his country (Lapi or Turja), wretched and northern, and 

^ In spite of what we find in the Kdlevala, the name of Louhi as 
applied to the lady of Pohjola only occurs once in the epic runes ; vid. the 
index of names (1887), s. n. Louhi. Castren and others have imagined a 
connection with the malign god Loki of Scandinavian myth. I do not 
see this. The Finnic verb, louhia, to gnaw, to bite, etc., explains the name 
sufficiently, as syoda, to eat, does Syojatar, mother of serpents. Although 
the Pohjolan emdntd has teeth far apart this does not prevent her some- 
times having them of iron {rautahammas), like some infernal beings. 

^ Loitsurun., p. 247 k et seq. ^ Ibid., p. 211 a a. 

* Ibid., p. 322 et seq. 



therefore near to Pohjola, which it resembles in the 
mahgnity of its action. Since the idea of north is present 
and hving in the word Pohja or Pohjola, and since the 
Lapps are the northern representatives of that northern 
region, the two ideas are easily interchanged. Pohjola 
appears inhabited by Lapps, the lady of Pohjola lady of 
the Lapps, and her nature as mother of evils is ready to 
assume the character of a malignant witch, very clever and 
very powerful, concentrating in herself all the worth and 
the meaning of Lapp magic. The approximation and the 
interpenetration of the two ideas are plainly seen in the 
magic songs ; but on the other hand clear signs remain 
of their distinct and diverse origin, for, as we see in the 
epos, all Lapps are not of Pohjola, neither are the men of 
Pohjola all or always Lapps. 

In the epos the rude mythic conception of Pohjola 
and its lady is somewhat humanised. Pohjola becomes 
the field of epic action, and its lady an epic personage. 
She is not blind, not entirely wicked ; on the contrary, 
she may be hospitable, and have one or more beautiful 
daughters, sought by heroes ; and this all the more easily 
because, through the idea of the north and of the Lapp 
wizards, the myth seems to approach the actual world. 
But behind all it is very easy to recognise the Pohjola, 
the lady of Pohjola and the Lapp wizards, of the magic 

The position of Pohjola, its darkness and cold, its 
enmity with Kalevala, may make us think of Jotunheim, 
of the Scandinavian Utgard, of the Jotuns, enemies of 
the Aesir and of men. But the connection is small, ap- 
parent and fortuitous ; they are two conceptions of pro- 
foundly different origin and nature. It is on the contrary 
a very remarkable thing that the myth of the giants, so 
well developed in the Scandinavian North, should have 
remained so entirely extraneous to the Finns. No trace 
of it IS found excepting the name of a marine monster 


Tursas (or Iki-Turso),^ doubtless derived from the 0. N. 
thurs? equivalent to iotun, giant. The word by which 
the Finns express giant, idttildinen, is directly derived 
from the modern Swedish jdtte,'^ It is curious that at 
one time, when seeking to find for Jotunheim a location 
in the actual world, the Scandinavians should place it 
on the White Sea and the banks of the Dvina : the great 
fatherland of Vainamoinen, the chief home of the Finnic 

At this point of our study of the Finnic myth and of 
its method of production, we may observe that we have 
made considerable progress in our knowledge of the epos ; 
for we have defined in their essence and their origin 
Pohjola and the Lady of Pohjola as they result from the 
magic songs. The Lady of Pohjola is one of the principal 
types among the heroes of the Kalevala. It is true we 
shall have to define the others who do not belong to 
Pohjola, but to the opposite camp ; but it has already be- 
come clear that we must look for the definition of them 
in the myth and in the poetic ideals that the magic song 
has created. As we have already said, we shall find no 
other region so well defined as Pohjola. The Finnic 
myth shrinks from systematising, and knows no cosmo- 
graphical divisions ; it never reaches this stage of 
development ; it could never mark out an Asgardhr, a 
Midgardhr, an Utgardhr, for it is too limited in its con- 
ception of the divine beings and their relation to man. 
It is true we should expect that the conception of the 
country of Vainamoinen and Ilmarinen should appear at 
least as clearly defined, in the epic songs, as that of 
Pohjola; but this could be legitimately looked for only 

^ Kalevala, xlii., 1, 348 et seq. ^ Grimm, D. M., p. 431 et seq. 

3 In Kemi, in Tervola (northern boundary) there is still found the 
ancient Norse form Jotun (Johm), Jatul {Jutul) ; vid. Calamnius, Muinais- 
tiedustuksia Pohjanperilta, in Suomi, 1868, p. 197. 

^ Munch, Norrone Gude-och Helte Sagn, p. 40 (§ 35). 


in the case of epic songs converging towards the unity of 
a great poem, which should have its parts, therefore, 
moulded with a sense of proportion. Here no such sense 
of unity exists; it is neither understood, sought, nor 
desired by the popular singers. The author of the poem, 
Lonnrot, has been obliged himself to invent a name for 
a region that should unite these heroes and figure as their 
fatherland. Even this he has been obliged to introduce 
by violence and only in a few places in the poem ; which 
should really be entitled rather Pohjola than Kalevala if 
one takes into consideration the relative frequency of the 
names. We respect Lonnrot's reasons, which are indeed 
quite intelhgible, for giving it this title ; but we find our- 
selves at this point of our researches in presence of the 
origin of the epic ideals of the laulajat, and not those of 

Just as the fancy of the tietdjdt, arrived, as we have 
seen, by various roads and occasions, at the creation of 
a whole assortment of malignant beings and ill-omened 
places whose duties the magic song often confounds and 
makes almost equivalent to each other ; so, on the other 
hand, it created, as occasion offered, poetical ideas of 
Good, whether in places or in fantastic personalities. To 
begin with, the divinities of the sky, of the waters, of the 
wood, are generally looked upon as good and benignant. 
And the magician feels that he himself and the power he 
vdelds are benignant and beneficent ; for he combats evil, 
procures good things, health, prosperity, and with his word 
turns mountains into butter, rocks into lard, lakes into 
honey,^ etc. All good things, or things which serve a good 
end, turn his mind to joyful thoughts: medicinal plants, for 
instance, and unguents, to obtain which a graceful poetry 
sees the httle bird of the air {ilman lintu), Mehilainen 
(the bee), rising even above the ninth heaven, or penetrat- 

^ Loitsurim., p. 26 c. 


ing into the depths of the forest in Metsola, or even in 
Pohjola which is also wooded. Joyful, too, is the poetry, 
joyful the conceptions of fantastic places and of persons 
that spring up in the mind of the tietdjd when with his 
song he accompanies and renders prosperous the manu- 
facture of beer, of the foaming exhilarating drink that 
comforts the wretched sons of the north, cheers the 
servants, and strengthens the workmen at their toil.^ 
There really exists, then, in their fancy, the idea of a 
region that is the opposite of Pohjola; in so far as the 
sun shines there, the air is tepid, nature rich. This is 
not the same as saying that this region is opposed to 
Pohjola geographically, and corresponds to a real country 
towards the south, or that it represents the generic idea 
of the south. On the contrary, when Pohjola is regarded 
as the equivalent of Metsola, as the wooded mother of 
rich fur animals, the two regions may even be confounded. 
But, properly speaking, it is the region of light and 
of sun. It is hence the abode of the sun, Paivola, an 
abode transported, as happens also in other mythologies, 
from the sky to the earth, placed at a great and indefinite 
distance, beyond nine seas (yheksan meren ylitse), and re- 
presented as an island (again as in other mythologies), 
which, properly speaking, has no name of its own and 
is simply called Saari, island, or also Saarela or Luotola, 
which come to mean about the same thing. Although 
originally Paivola has a different meaning, Saari and 
Paivola have become almost identical ; and this occurs, 
too, with the names of other mythical localities, also of 
diverse origin, if they are or happen by chance to be 
brought near that idea of joyous prosperity and well- 
being expressed by Saari and Paivola. This has happened 
in the case of Kalevala, and even, as we have seen, with 
Pohjola itself. The kingdom of the dead, Manala, being 

^ Loitsurun., p. 214. 


surrounded by a river, appears, according to the mythic 
ideas suggested by other peoples, as an island ; Pohjola, 
to the conception of which are also applied elements 
suggested by other peoples, being likewise encircled by a 
river and reproducing the same idea. But although 
in the free course, often erratic and confused, of the 
imaginings of the tietdjdt and laulajat, conceptions really 
extraneous to each other and radically different, do meet 
and mingle ; still the peculiar characteristics of each poetic 
ideal remain clear in the mass of poetic production. There 
are many and diverse names expressing localities, used 
with qualificatives expressing charm or pleasure, and all are 
identified, or can be identified, with Paivola or Saari.^ The 
abode of plenty (Kyllold), of gold {Kultala), of pastime 
(Vietola), of dainties (Imantola), of matrimony (Naimola), the 
island of money (Bahasaari), of fish (Kalasaari)^ of bread 
(Leipasaari), of calm (Terhensaari), etc., are all names of 
happy places contained in the idea of Paivola or Saari. 
This region, which in some songs comes to be described 
almost as a Land of Cockaigne, is really the seat of loves, 
of splendid weddings, of banquets, and of solemn and 
divine symposiums (Jumaliston juomingit), of relationships 
(Lankola), of searchers for a bride. It has a lord (Pdivoldn 
isdntd), but he is of no great importance. It is better 
represented by the beautiful maiden of Saari {Saaren neito), 
whom many desire, and for whom the child of the sun, 
of the moon and of the north star (Tahti),^ were rivals ; 
according to tales and magic songs which passed from the 
Lithuanians and Letts to the Esthonians and Finns, and 
of which some echo is found even in Finland. ^ To Pai- 

^ Vid. the many texts quoted by Aspelin, Kalevalan tutkimuksia, p. 
25 et seq. 

* This means star, but the north star is referred to par excellence. 

3 Vid. Schwarz, Sonne, Mond und Sterne, p. 164 et seq. ; Mannhardt, 
Die Lettischen Sonnevmythen {Zeitschr. EthnoL, 1876), p. 314 et seq.; 
Neuss, Ehstnishe Volkslieder, pp. 9-23 ; Krohn, Siiomal. kirjallis. hist., p. 


vola properly belong the wedding and the banquet which 
Lonnrot has transferred in the Kalevala, following a few 
rare variants, to Pohjola. And since Vainamoinen and 
Ilmarinen, ideal magicians, one of the intellectual type 
(tietdjd), the other of the mechanical (takoja), also figure 
among the searchers for a bride, they also have a connec- 
tion with this region, which sometimes seems to be 
identified with Vainola, Vainamoinen's dwelling-place. 

But the hero to whom this field really belongs is Lem- 
minkainen, also called Ahti of Saari (Saarelainen) , the 
amorous above all others {lempi, love), the thoughtless 
follower of women and of amorous adventures, the ardent 
rogue {veitikkd verevd), a favourite subject of the songs, 
whether magic or no, that accompany the brewing of beer.^ 

This occasion of the 'making of the beer, and others 
such as wedding feasts, banquets, the festivals connected 
with agricultural labour, etc., give rise to song and a 
poetical, fantastic production, narrative without any magic 
end, but based on the poetical creations of the magic songs 
and developed in accordance with the spirit of these latter 
into epic-lyric or purely epic songs. Although these crea- 
tions bear a proper and original impress, it is yet easy ta 
trace external influence in them. That happy region, that 
island beyond nine seas, has not only affinities with similar 
conceptions among Indo-European peoples, but is more 
directly recognised as the same that figures in all Russian 
magic formulas : the island Bujan where the sun lives, 
where dwells the lovely maiden Zaria (the dawn).^ Here^ 
as in other cases, we must not seek the naturalistic 
meaning (even if such exists) in the myth of the Finns, 

326 et seq.; Donner, Lieder der happen, p. 53 et seq, [The Lapp Song, The 
Sons of the Stm, Pdiven parne', p. 61 et seq.); Friis, Lappish Mythologi^ 
pp. 83 et seq., 169 et seq. 

1 Krohn, I. c, p. 493. 

2 Afanasieff, Poeticeskija vozzrienija Slavjan na prirodu, p. 131 et seq. ; 
Aspelin, Kalevalan tutkimuksia, p. 120. 


who were not the first creators of this image. Besides 
Lemminkainen, there is connected with Paivola or Saari, 
among epic personages, KuUervo, or better the son of 
Kaleva (Kalevmipoika). Kaleva is a giant, but he must not 
be confounded with the giants of German myth, although 
his orifijin is not dissimilar from that of the Bergriesen. 
The word really expresses rocky ground, hard, accursed 
soil, with cliffs and stony heights. It has not the same 
derivation as the Finnic word hallio, chff, rock,^ but pro- 
bably comes from the Slav skala, chff, rock. The ending 
^a is the same as that of so many Finnic adjectives, e.g., 
vdkevd, strong, verevd, sanguine, etc., hence the word 
Kaleva means rocky or having the nature of rock. It is not 
used as an adjective ; ^ it is employed only as a mythic name 
or personification, but with a very transparent meaning. 

As in other mythologies, and chiefly in those of the 
neighbouring Teutons and Slavs, the rock, the cliff, the 
mountain, is personified in one or more beings of huge 
proportions or of superhuman force. Kaleva is a giant, 
as is Sviatogor, as is Gorynia (R. gora, mountain) of the 
Bussian byliny or tales. ^ The people find evidence of his 

^ The double I (11) which is found in Lapp (galle, kallo), in Vepse 
(kalli), and of which there is a trace in Esthonian {kaVju), rather brings 
this word near to the Goth, hallus, rock, cliff, 0. N. Jmllr, as Thomsen 
thinks ; Ueb. d. Einfl. d. germ. Spr. auf d. Lapp-Finn., p. 139. Examples 
of the substitution of an initial German h hj & Finnic k are not wanting, 
although rare; in general the h remains h. Cf. Thomsen, op. cit., p. 65. 

^ The word for rocky is kallioinen (from kallio, with an ending iyien 
almost equivalent to the other va). Thus we have vdkevd and vdkhien, 
verevd and verinen, etc. 

3 Among the names of ancient heroes or bogatyrs in the Russian 
byliny, there figure, besides Sviatogor, Polkan (Ital. Pulicane) and 
others, Kalyvan or Ivan KalyvanoviS, or Samson KalyvanoviS {vid. 
Kirjeevski, Pjesni, in the index, p. 25 et seq. ; Hilferding, Onezskija 
byliny, n. 185). This name may be an echo of the Esthonian-Finnic 
Kaleva, as Krohn also thinks (p. 320 et seq.). We cannot say the same 
of the Halevijn of a Dutch song, as Neus thinks {Ehstn. VolksL, p. 6). 
Cf. Geier o. Afzelius, Svenska Folkvis&r, ii., 279; Grundtvig, Danma/rks 
ga/tnle Folkeviser, iv., p. 23 et seq. 


gigantic form, of his immense force, in blocks of granite 
that they beheve him to have hurled, in huge rocks that 
they call his seats, etc. This is particularly the case in 
eastern Finland and in Esthonia,^ where the names of 
several places refer to Kaleva or to the sons of Kaleva ; 
just as happens v^ith the giants in the Norse and the 
Germanic myth and in that of other peoples. The 
essentially rocky soil of these northern regions, diversified 
and strev^^n with huge boulders even where capable of being 
tilled, the moor (kankas) and the northern field are personi- 
fied in Kaleva and idealised into a region which is the 
abode of Kaleva or Kalevala : but this is an idealisation of 
the soil in a generic way as soil, not in a natural sense as 
the fatherland of the Finns ; and determines nothing with 
regard to its confines or geographical boundaries. The 
personification of Kaleva is not highly developed. It is 
limited to the ordinary attributes which naturally ac- 
company giants or yrjyeveU that symbolise telluric rock, 
i.e., huge proportions and superhuman force. Of his deeds 
not much is said, so that Castren has even thought that 
Kaleva did not represent a person, but was an epithet 

1 Krohn, Suom. kirjall. hist, p. 374. Cf. the Kalevipoeg and 
Cajanus in Rein, Bidrag til finska hdfdeteckningens historia, in Suomi, 
1843, p. 77 et seq. Blumberg's work, Quellen u. Bealien d. Kalevi- 
2>oeg, Dorpat, 1869, is accompanied by a map showing the places in 
Esthonia where the people see traces of Kalevipoeg. Without thinking 
of the Slav root which I here adduce, others have already observed that 
Kaleva, Esthonian and Finnic, is, as Neus well expresses it {Ehstn. 
Volksl., n. 2), nothing but " the deified northern rock-nature," and of this 
original meaning a trace is also found in certain songs of the Esthonians in 
which the son of Kalev is called Child of the Rock, Kaljo poisi ; vid. 
Kreutzwald u. Neus, Myth. u. mag. Lieder d. Ehsten, p. 42 et seq. ; cf. 
Kruse, Urgeschichte d. Ehstn. Volksstammes, p. 175 et seq. Popular usage 
gives to some stars the name of Star of Kaleva {Kalevan tahti), Sword of 
Kaleva {Kalevan miekka) ; vid. Petrelius in Fennia, i., 1889 ; Gottlund, 
Otava, i., p. 101 et seq. To deduce from this, as Donner does {Suomi, 
p. 168), that Kaleva indicates a celestial or sidereal god, is as legitimate 
as it would be in the case of Vainamoinen, Aaron, Jacob, etc. , from whom 
other stars are named. 



applied to powerful heroes.^ In a certain sense this is 
true, in accordance with the explanation we have given 
of the name. The process of personification exists, but 
it has not advanced far; and the original attributive 
meaning of the word is still clear. 

This is also evident in the other name Osmo, or Osmori, 
used as the equivalent of Kaleva and hence Osmola as that 
of Kalevala. To me it seems clear that we have here the 
0. N. Usmdr (which in modern Swedish would become 
osmd), meaning not small and used also in the sense of 
valiant, worthy of honour.^ In Finnic poetry the ironical 
expression 7iot little is frequently used in speaking of one 
who is very great, not great in speaking of one who is very 
small. ^ Thus then is called the gigantic Kaleva and in 
the name usmdr there is already in Norse that meaning 
of valour and importance that Castren observes in the use 
of Kaleva. The personification and idealisation of the 
rocky, but tillable soil, is clearly recognisable in the magic 
songs. Above all is it apparent in that on the origin of 
beer, where Osmo, Osmotar, Kaleva, Kalevatar, etc., are 
spoken of, and represent not one country rather than an- 
other, but the irocky northern soil in which grows Humala 

1 F. My Owl., p. 250. He associates this name with the Turkish aalep, 
hero. Other etymologies : Lit. kalvis, smith ( Ahlqvist, D. Culturwort. , p. 
58) ; Skilfingr, the Scandinavian name of a mythic race and also of Odin 
(Schiefner and with him Krohn, Suom. kirjall. hist, p. 287 et scq.) ; 
Russ. golova, head (Lonnrot, in his Finn. Die, s. v. Kaleva). Donner 
{Siwmi, 1866, p. 145 et seq.) sees in Kaleva a god of the shining, thunder- 
ing sky and considers the name as related to Finnic words of that meaning 
(kolisevU, kiiltdvd, etc.). 

^E.g.y " var Snorri godhi usmari ollum sattmdlum," Eyrbyggja Saga,, 
p. 105. 

3 The little man (pikku mies) : — 

ei tuo ollut suuren suuri 
eikii aivan pienen pieni {Kalev., ii., 114). 
The great ox at the wedding in Pohjola : — 
ei ollut suuri, eika pieni 
olihan oikea vasikka {Kalev., xx., 19). 
(It was not big, it was not little, it was just like a calf.) 


(the hop), son of noisy rejoicings {Bemusen poiha) , and the 
barley; the soil that by the aid of the creative power (Kapo) 
produces the liquid that ferments and foams. This must 
be the meaning of formulas common also in other songs ; 
the moor of Kaleva (Kalevan kangas), the fount of Kaleva 
{Kalevan kaivo), the field of Osmo {Osmon pelto), etc. 

Kaleva, as v^e have said, is represented as a giant, but 
he has no action. He nevertheless appears as the father 
of a numerous and lively offspring. As many as twelve 
of his sons are spoken of, but the names of few only are 
mentioned. Those giants (jdttildiset) or those Hiidet, to 
whom, as we have above said, are attributed the remains 
of ancient buildings, or blocks and heaps of stones believed, 
to be such, naturally figure as the sons of Kaleva,^ but. 
rather in popular saga than in poetic myth. Strictly speak- 
ing there is but one son of Kaleva, called in Esthonia Kale- 
vipoeg (son of Kalev), in the Finnic runes Kalevan poika, 
and also KuUervo, son of Kalervo} Here also the word son 

1 Ganander, Myth, fenn., s. v. Kaleva, Kalevan poj at. 

2 The name Kalervo is but a variant of the name Kaleva, with an end- 
ing which is found in other mythic names (Sinervo, Tellervo, etc.). As to 
the name Kullervo, its etymology should be from kulta, which means gold 
and also clear, but this has nothing to do with the type of Kullervo. The 
people sometimes creates a name for the son like that of the father (or 
vice versa), with very little variation. This is all the more natural in 
poetry where alliteration predominates, and can hence also be observed in 
ancient mythic Scandinavian poetry (Thorr, Thrudr; Buri, Borr, etc.). Cf. 
Bugge, Studien iib. die Entstehung d. nord. Gott und Heldensagen, p. 211. 
A curious Finnic example of this is Kimmo Kammo, father of stone {Loit- 
surun., p. 63, Kivi, Kimmon Kamtnon poika), a play of alliterative sounds 
in which may be recognised the elements of the Finnic kivi, stone, and of 
the Russian kamen, stone. Thus is to be explained also the Vipunen, son 
of Vapune7i of a few songs, of whom Krohn speaks, Valvoja, 1883, p. 473. 
As to Untamo, brother and enemy of Kaleva, I do not believe he has any- 
thing to do, as Krohn thinks {Stiom. kirjall. hist, p. 287), with the Hund- 
ing of the Edda {Helgaqvida Hundingsbana) and of the Volsungasaga ; the 
aspirated initial letter of foreign words is always preserved in Finnic. 
Probably this name has as its base the Swedish ond, wicked, and in this 
sense Untamola is sometimes the equivalent of Pohjola {Kalevala, xv., 
576; xxvi., 205), 


is purely poetical, as we have said with regard to the 
child of the sun and the like. This son of Kaleva embodies 
in the well-determined personality of an agent and a hero 
the essential qualifications of Kaleva as we have above 
defined them : the huge proportions and the superhuman 
force of a giant. Among the Esthonians popular poetry 
and fantasy have surrounded him with so many songs and 
legends that Kreutzwald, weaving in many verses of his 
own, has been able to build up a whole poem in which 
Kalevipoeg figures as the national Esthonian hero. The 
Finns, in their national poetry, have made him a hero of 
a very secondary type beside Vainamoinen and Ilmarinen. 
His nature, too, is different, though it is still such as to 
enable him to figure in that nation's epos, where Lonnrot 
has introduced him episodically. The giant, among 
the Esthonians a sort of Gargantua, is lost to sight 
among the Finns, who only develop the attribute of force. 
Among the first as among the second, however, the char- 
acteristic and fundamental conception in the action of this 
hero is that of an excessive, rude, brute force, which mani- 
fests itself from his birth, and which, always exaggerated, 
spoils everything he undertakes. In working out this 
type, in adapting it to their Kaleva in accordance with 
a well-conceived ideal connection, Esthonians and Finns 
have created nothing of their own ; they have repro- 
duced a type common to the popular stories of the 
neighbouring peoples, that of the Junge Biese or of the 
Starke Hans} 

When other mythic or heroic personages are called 
Kaleva or Sons of Kaleva, the title must be understood 
merely as an ideal connection and not as an identity or a 

' Grimm, Kinder und Hausm., n. xc, 166, where we also find the hero 
at the smith's, as is told of Kullervo. With this fundamental motive there 
are combined in the Kalevala other motives originally extraneous to Kul- 
lervo, in which the hero acquires a tragic character. Of these we have 
given an account in the chapter on the Coinjwsition of the Kalevala. 


real generic relationship. If the huge Vipunen who hes 
underground, and as we have seen represents the ogre, 
is sometimes called the old Kaleva'^ or even the son of 
Kaleva, one understands the reason. Vainamoinen and 
Ilmarinen are also sometimes called in the runes sons of 
Kaleva ; although in the runes themselves their birth is 
often very differently spoken of. But they are super- 
humanly powerful heroes, and that is enough to earn 
them this title ; which, as Castren has well divined, is 
equivalent to an epithet. 

In this sense Kalevala may figure as the fatherland or 
dwelhng of these heroes. And since, in the epic ideals 
that have their roots in the poetry of the magic songs, 
there is a continual contrast between the Finnic magi- 
cian, benign and beneficent, and the Lapp wizard, malign 
and maleficent, so there is a contrast between Pohjola 
and Kalevala. This last appears therefore as the 
Finnic country, being sometimes even confused with 
Paivola or Saari. There could be no other reason for 
the title that Lonnrot has thought well to give to his 
composition ; which he wished to be, as indeed it is, 
the national poem of the Finns. But who should think 
Kalevala to be the mythic name of the Finnic fatherland, 
of Finland or even of a part of it, of Careha for instance, 
would be mistaken. 

The son of Kaleva above all others would be Kullervo, 
and hence Kalevala should be pecuharly his country 
and his field of action. But Kullervo or the Kalevan 
poika is, as we have said, a secondary hero in the Finnic 
runes, and has in fact been only incidentally associated 

1 Castren, F. Myth., 250 et seq. Aspelin, Kalev. tutkimuksia, p. 151. 
The name vanha Kaleva given to Vipunen in the printed Kalevala 
does not occur in the MSS. known to Krohn. Suom. kirjall. hist., p. 442. 
He believes that, although it is found in some runes, it must be a chance 
addition taken from the Kullervo runes. 1 do not think so, as in the 
original popular idea the name Kaleva can quite well be applied to 


with the epos. Some facts render him akin to the type of 
Lemminkainen, with whom he is sometimes confounded ; ^ 
hence he is occasionally found, as we before said, in 
connection with Paivola or Saari.^ 

^ Krohn, Suom. kirjall. hist, p. 132 et seq. 

" Aspelin, Kalevalan tutkimuksia, p. 40 ; who, however, falls into a 
grave error, when he deduces that Kaleva and Paiva (sun) are the same 
thing in a mythic sense. 




Let us now inquire what the popular Finnic poets think 
of the world in general, of nature, of the creative and 
generative forces and also of man. No one, after what 
we have been saying, will expect them to have on such 
subjects a consistent and well-ordered system of ideas. 
Although in their poetry, and also in their tales, they 
speak of several skies, of several seas, and more exactly 
of nine skies, yet this formula does but express an inde- 
terminate and fantastic distance ; it is moulded on similar 
formulas in the tales and popular poetry of the Eussians, 
Teutons and other peoples, and even the number nine is 
not original.^ The sky is one, and they call it with a 
word of foreign origin taivas (Lith. dievas, god, but origin- 
ally sky).^ Poetically they represent it, as do other 
peoples (Ind. Vartma, Gr. Ovpavos:), as a lid; and inas- 
much as it is starry they call it the variegated lid (kirjo- 
kansi)? But, properly speaking, the world is maailma or 
earth-air, or also simply ilma. This word ilma expresses 
the air (in a state of rest) ; it expresses also atmospheric 
conditions and climate. The dominant meaning in 
the word, however, is that of clear air or atmosphere, 
hence ilmio translates phenomenon, ajjparition ; ilmoittaa 

^ Cf. Simrock, Deutsche Mythologie, p. 548. On the nine skies, ibid., 
p. 255. 

2 Ahlqvist, Culturwbrt. d. westfinn. Sprachen, p. 244. 
^ Cf. the Lith. dangus sky ; danktis, lid {dengiu, to cover). In the 
Edda (Alvism. 13) the sky is csAled fagi-araefr (beautiful or splendid roof). 


represents to declare, manifest, etc. This definition ot 
the world comes near that of the Slavs, who use svjei 
(light, world), accompanied by the unvarying epithet 
bjely (white or clear). In the Finnic runes we recognise, 
without any precise definition, the conception on which 
we have already touched : that the air, ilma, is like the 
spirit {henki) of the world, and the productive power 
resides in it. Hence the functions that we find attri- 
buted to the Ilman impi or Virgin of the Air, or Bmatar, and 
to other personifications of which we shall shortly speak. 
In his second edition of the Kalevala Lonnrot has c on- 
^ected the cosmogonic myth, not, as in the first edit ion^ 
with Vainamoinen, but with the Virgin of the Air. As a 
matter of fact the runes refer in this connection'always 
to Vainamoinen and never to the Virgin of the Air, though 
sometimes the myth is independent even of Vainamoinen. 
And this is its original condition. This myth, that de- 
scribes the birth of the world from an egg, has recalled 
to the minds of scholars ^ those systems of cosmogony of 
many peoples, especially non-European, among whom a 
similar idea is found, besides the egg of the Orphic hymns 
and of Hellanicus, also of Eastern origin. The small 
poetical fable of the Finns has nothing to do with the 
wisdom of systems. It is unknown among kindred 
peoples, except among the Esthonians.^ It is not a 
very old tradition, but has been formed, like the rest 
of the Finnic myth, from ideas of a purely popular 
character, not foreign to European peoples. Popular 
Lithuanian beliefs speak of an immense mass in the form 
of an egg, which afterwards became the earth ; ^ and in 
some ancient Kussian manuscripts the world (according 

^ Kellgren, Mythus de ovo vmndi, Helsingf., 1849. Krohn, Siwmal. 
kinrjall. hist., pp. 334-9. 

« Castren, Finsk Mythol., p. 300. 

' Veckenstedt, Die Mythen, Legenden u. Sagen der Zamaiten., i., 216 
et seq. 


to an idea which, it seems, dates from John of Damascus) 
is compared to an egg : the shell is the sky, the skin the 
clouds, the white is the water, the yolk the land.^ And 
the Greek myths speak of the Dioscuri (having an astral 
signification) as born from an egg, and of Typhoeus, also 
born from an egg. Aristophanes (Birds, 1. 685 et seq.) 
shows the popular form of the Orphic conception of the 
protogenetic egg ; and the tales and traditions of European 
peoples tell of the generation from the egg of extra- 
ordinary things and beings.^ This constantly recurring 
theme of fantastic popular creations is found in the Finnic 
runes and tales applied in various manners, one of which 
is the fable of the making of the world. The magic songs 
frequently define a stone as the " egg of the earth," maan 
muna} In the tales a youth of prodigious, destructive 
force, in whom we recognise Kullervo, or the son of 
Kaleva, figures as born from an egg {Munapoika, son of the 
egg)."^ In the runes, too, there is a theme or a poetical 
fantastic formula, which, like so many others, explains 
the origin of various things, and has certainly sprung 
originally from the magic songs, more exactly from those 
of the Origins : a bird (swallow, duck, eagle, etc.) seeks a 
place to lay its egg, and finds it on a ship, mountain, 
promontory, island, etc. The egg, from some cause that 
varies (tempest or another reason) falls into the sea. 
From this egg some songs cause seals and fish to spring ; 

1 AfanasiefE, PoetiZ. vozzr. Slavjan na prirodu, i., 535 et seq. 

2 Cf. Afanasieff, op. cit., p. 529 et seq.; Schwarz, Ursprung der Mytho- 
logie, p. 214 et seq. ; Stier, Ungarische Mdrchen, p. 60, etc. 

^ Maan muna, kakkara pellon (Egg of the earth, cake of the field) ; 
Loitsurun., pp. 63, 8 a, 2 ; 282, 14 a, 2 b, 14, Hullu hiitavi kiviksi, Maan 
munaksi mainitsevi : " A wag called it a stone, named it the egg of the 
earth " ; the stone, that is, which according to that song had been at first 
a grain of barley. 

* Krohn, Stiom. kirjall. hist., pp. 153 et seq., 156. Setala, Munapoika, 
Idnsi-suomalaisia Kullervon aineksia [The Son oftJie Egg ; Western- Finnic 
Elements of Kullervo), Helsingf,, 1882 (from the Ldnnetdr). 


many others explain thus the origin of the island of Saari 
with its lovely, much-wooed maiden ; others make this 
egg, which is not always one only, the origin of the 
celestial bodies ; and others finally (unheedf ul of the birds 
■existing before the world) caused the world itself to spring 
from it, as we read in the first rune of the Kalevala} 
Other singers continue this daring unreasonableness still 
further, and combine the origin of the world thus con- 
"Ceived with the story of Vainamoinen. And since, if a 
bird existed before the world was, there is no reason why 
a Lapp should not exist also ; they make the bird lay its 
Qgg on Vainamoinen's knee as he is tossed by the waters 
into which he had fallen after the Lapp had shot at him. 
Lonnrot and others justly considered this tale as too 
fabulous, and likely by its excessive inconsistency to dis- 
turb the aesthetic effect of the poem ; and Vainamoinen's 
knee was therefore replaced in the second edition of the 
Kalevala by that of the Virgin of the Air. 

This myth of the origin of the world, of which we have 
here indicated the genesis, and which is also among those 
that have their roots in the magic songs, in reality stands 
alone. It has nothing to do with the magic song of the 
Great Oak, nor with that of the Ploughing and Sowing 
of the Earth, nor with that of the Cultivation of Barley, 
which Lonnrot has placed in the ZoZemZo^as a continua- 
tion of the myth of creation. With the exception of the 
generic idea of the creation of the world, which is really 
outside the scope of the songs of the tietdjdt as magicians, 
the coming into being of the separate things is the subject 
of the magic songs of the Origins ; but the fancy of the 
tietdjd creates, as usual, a poetic myth for each separate 
thing,and invents nothing which shall connect these origins 
into a systematic whole. We cannot examine and describe 
all the origins here ; nor is this necessary to our purpose. 

^ Many of the various songs of which I have spoken may be seen in 
the published part of the variants of the Kalevala {Kalevalen toisinnot). 


We frequently find the production of single things 
explained by the miraculous fecundation of female beings, 
such as the Lady of Pohjola, Luonnotar and others. At 
other times things are called forth by the simple, creative 
power of superior beings, as Ukko, the Virgin of the Air," 
and the like ; who produce them by rubbing their hands, 
chafing their knees, etc. And Vainamoinen, too, supreme 
ideal of the power of the tietajd and of the magic word, 
as he wanders through the waters creates islands, rocks, 
promontories, etc., wherever he touches with his hand ; 
as does the Virgin of the Air according to other songs. 
In addition to these peculiar ideas which are also found 
in the myth and poetry of other peoples, there is in the 
Finnic runes an abstract and generic conception of the 
productive force of nature, inherent, as we have said be- 
fore, in the lima or air. Lonnrot, interpreting the popular 
mind of his nation with intelligence, followed this concep- 
tion, although it is nowhere actually formulated in the 
runes at present known, by connecting the myth of crea- 
tion with the Ilman impi. The idea is poetically expressed 
in personifications ; the Virgin, and also the Virgins of 
the Air (Ilman impi, or immet), Luonnotar or also the Luon- 
notarety Kave or in the diminutive form Kajjo ; mythic 
personages who appear as equivalent one to another, or, 
what is at bottom the same thing, in the relationship of 
mother and daughter. Luonnotar is nature (luonto) per- 
sonified. Generally three Luonnotaret are spoken of. _In 
the .ma^ic song on the origin of iron, for example,^ the 
supreme god, Ukko, creates the three Luonnotaret by 
rubbing his hands and pressing them on his left knee. 
From the bare breasts of the three Luonnotaret springs 
black, white^ and red milk ; and this falling on to the 
earth, produces three kinds of iron. This personification 
of nature as generator and creator is surprising in a myth 

^ Kalevala, ix., 39 et seq.; Loitsurun., p. 313 et seq. 


so wanting in development and depth as is the Finnic,, 
and among a people whose speculative thought is so 
immature. The Finnic myth here appears to go Ix yoiul 
the Greek, which never arrived at a personification of the 
<l)vai<;. "Tt Tslilso surprising to find among the Finns the 
word luonto, expressing nature to the full extent of the 
abstract meaning of this word ; while the Germanic 
peoples could do no better than adopt the Latin word in 
this sense. The noun luonto is related to the verb luoda,^ 
which means to begin an action, to set to work at a thing, 
and hence also to make or produce. It does not contain 
the idea of being born, as do (^ucrt?, Lat. natura, Russ. pri- 
roda ; rather it approaches the idea of efficacious action 
expressed by the German schopfen, schaffen, Slav, tvoriti ; 
hence it has served to translate the Christian idea of 
create, creation (luominen), creator (hioja). Although the 
word is Finnic, the abstract idea of nature which it came 
to represent and that of creation are certainly not pro- 
ducts of the Finnic mind ; they came from abroad, from 
Greco-Roman thought which penetrated into Germanic 
and Slav minds and was there combined with the Christian 
idea. Under this influence, Ukko appears as the producer 
of the Luonnotaret ; hence as creator,^ which originally 
is not his attribute. Neither is the personification of 
nature in the Luonnotaret original. These are simply 
the fates of popular classic myth diffused among modern 
European peoples ; and they are three because there 

^ Grimm has not observed this. He wrongly {Kl. Schriften, ii., p. 
112) relates liwnto to the 0. N. lund, imloles, with which it has certainly 
nothing to do. Ltwnto stands to luoda as olento (being, existence) stands 
to olla (to be), as saanto stands to saada (to receive), etc. 

'^Nay, he is altogether the biblical God who divides the land from 
the waters {Ihnasta veen eroitti, VeestcL maati manterehen) according to 
the song on the origin of iron, which Lonnrot has introduced into the 
Kalevala, leaving these lines (rune ix., 35 et scg. )iiotwJthstanding that 
they are in contradiction to what is told of the crepion in the beginning, 
of the poem. 


are properly three ancient fates {tria fata) reflected in 
the three Norns of Scandinavian myth. Also in Finnic 
the idea of lot, or destiny, or fatum, is not far off ; since 
(apparently at least) the same root that gives luonto, 
nature, gives too hcote, destiny. And the fact that the Finns 
call these fates Luonnotaret, which is as much as to say 
natures (or daughters of nature, which is the same thing), 
finds a parallel among the Scandinavians ; where popular 
usage, as I infer from some of the sagas relating to magic 
works, also calls them nattumr} 

All the Luonnotaret are defined in poetry as Daughters 
■of the Air, and are hence confounded with the Ilman immet. 
One of the daughters of the air or one of the Luonnotaret 
is Kave, or in the diminutive form Kapo. Kave is a sub- 
stantive and is a proper noun, and it is not always pos- 
sible to distinguish in the runes whether it is used as a 
substantive or as a personification. It expresses the noble 
and poetic idea of the creation or of the thing created, 
especially as regards generation of animals. Hence it 
translates the Christian creatura (Dei) in its noble sense 
(as the Scandinavians still use it in speaking of animals) 
in the expressions metsdn kapeet, meren kapeet, etc., which 
stand for the animals of the wood, of the sea, etc. And 
thus man himself is called, poetically and nobly, thus 
the hero, thus the magician. The idea of the creative 
art and of the thing created being confused, as they also 
are in the word creation, man is Kave and a product of 
Kave. Being essentially a bringer forth, Kave is applied 
to the female essence and means mother, woman, in 

^ TJwrfinns Saga Karlsefnis, ch. iii., pp. 104-113 {FlateyjarbdJc, i., pp. 
538-549) ; Maurer, Die Bekehrung des nortoegischen Stammes z. Chri- 
■stenthume, i., p. 449 et seq. ; ii., p. 10. As Maurer observes, natturur there 
indicates the same beings who are also called by the Germanic name 
verdhir ; but these are simply fates, as is shown by the name, which is 
the ancient German expression for fate (English weird, A. S. vyrd ; Urdhr, 
VerdJiandi, names of two Norns, etc.). Cf. Grimm, Deutsche Myth., i., p. 
■335 et seq. 


poetic usage. It is found with the same meaning in the 
Esthonian word {kabe, kabo, kaiue), although it is not either 
in that language or in Finnic the ordinary word for 
woman. The pangs of childbirth are called Kavon kipu 
(Germ. Kbulesnoth, Swed. barnsnod)} As a personification, 
Kave is invoked to heal all evils and to ease a woman in 
childbirth ; she is **the most ancient of women, the first 
and mother by her very nature ".'^ This explains how 
she should be one of the Luonnotaret or Ilman immet. Many 
scholars have made researches with regard to the origin of 
this word, looking for it, as usual, too far afield. It has 
certainly nothing to do with the Kaba or Kabe of the Chere- 
missians and the Chuvashes, with which Castren and others 
relate it.^ We can plainly recognise the Germanic root 
skap, which necessarily becomes in Finnic, in accordance 
with the well-known law, kap or kav. The same root is 
found in the Swedish skapa, to create ; skapelse, creation ; 
the Germ, scliaffen, schopfen ; Eng. verb and noun, shape, 
etc. ; and, with its derivatives, explains the whole mean- 
ing of the Finnic Kave. As Luonnotar, too, i.e., as a fate^ 
Kave finds a parallel in skapa, which is the duty of the 
Germanic Norns, and in Schepfe^ which in H. M. Germ, is 
equivalent to parca, or norn, or fate.^ 

^ Here kajjo is the same as the Italian creatura ; we should say a child. 

^ " Vanhin vaimoloita, Ensin emii itseloita," Kalevala, xviii., 293-4 ; 
Loitsurun., p. 188 k. 

3 Finsk Mytlwl., p. 170. Cf. for other authors Krohn, Siiom. kirjalL 
hist. A Cheremissian prayer, published by Genetz, Journal de la Soci^U 
Finno-Ougrienne, vii., 1889, p. 148 et seq., invokes the good Kawa, the good 
Prophet, the good atigels, the good mother of God, etc. Kawa is probably 
here the Kaaba of Mecca, of which Mussulman superstition made a per- 
sonage with an astral meaning. Genetz has used the masculine in trans- 
lation, but, as he himself says, it can also be translated by the feminine. 

Yrio Koskinen (Forsen), in his Ayitiqiiities of the Finnic Stock [Tiedot 
stwmcnsuvun muinaismulesta, p. 9), identifies Kave with Kava, powerful, of 
the Zendavesta ; Donner, Indernas forestelln. om verldcns skapelse, p. 72, 
calls to mind the Indian kavi, intelligent, wise. Schiefner, however, has 
also suggested skapa (translation of Castren's Finsk Myth., p. 168, note). 

•* C/. Grimm, Deutsche Myth., pp. 337 ct seq., 716. 


Thus we find that in the definition, denomination and 
poetical personification of these abstract conceptions not 
born in their own minds, the Finns have followed the in- 
dependent and original process of assimilation which dis- 
tinguishes them. They express the generic and abstract 
idea of nature with a word of their own tongue which they 
also use to signify creation ; the word which the Germanic 
peoples used to represent the idea of creation served them 
also as a poetical expression of the idea of nature and 
creation, but limited to the production of animal beings, a 
limitation of the meaning of creature which is common 
among other European peoples. 

The idea of creation and of creature was adopted by 
the Finns certainly before their conversion to Christi- 
anity, but after Christianity had introduced it among- 
Germanic peoples, who had used their sT^ap to express it.^ 
The Finns are wanting, as we said before, in an anthro- 
pogonic myth ; but if their poetic myth had ever been 
capable of organic ordering and development, there would 
have been in this idea of Kave, understood and personified 
in the way we have seen, an element determining the 
poetical idea of anthropogony. We should have : Ukko 
creates the Luonnotaret ; one of these, Kave, creates men 
and animals. But this idea is never found moulded into 
a definite form and developed into a myth. It is found 
applied to Vainamoinen, born, as Lonnrot gives it in the 
Kalevala, of the daughter of the Air, Kave ; and also to 
Ilmarinen. A formula very common in the magic songs 
is there used which gives a poetical account of the birth 

^ It seems to me that this is clearly seen in the fact that Kave is 
limited in its use to the poetry of the runes and their connected ideas,, 
but never appears as the direct translation of the Christian idea as such. 
In this sense we have always luoda, luoja, luoma, luominen, etc., to create, 
creator, creature, creation, etc. Neither is there a verb corresponding to 
Kave, which is also used as a substantive. This means that the word 
came among the Finns in as isolated a manner as did nature, creature^ 
among the Scandinavians. 


of several things, especially of sickness : a maiden, that is, 
who flies from love, but is rendered a mother by the wind.^ 
If we take this away, we have left the simple formula 
*' Vainamoinen son of Kave or of the Luonnotar, or of the 
Uman impiy' which formula is applicable to all men. In 
fact the magic songs, in speaking of man, very frequently 
use the expression ** making, work, offspring of Kapo or 
Kave " ; ^ in which, however, the personification is not well 
determined, and we feel, as indeed is sometimes proved 
by the parallel verses, that Kave is equivalent to woman 
or mother.^ 

These ideas of nature, creation, etc., which have come 
from abroad and are essentially independent of and ex- 
traneous to the shamanic idea, have yet come to resemble 
this latter in the use to which they were put, as poetic 
ideas, in the poetry of the magic songs. The magic word 
(sana) is also creative, and Vainamoinen, the highest re- 
presentative of the magic power, appears also as a creator. 
Further, the idea of nature as a producing force, having 
arisen in the mind of the tietdjdt, comes to signify also ani- 
mal power or the productive genius of the individual ; and 
also the psychic root of the tietdjd's power. In preparing 
for his work, the latter incites himself to inspiration or 

1 In one song (Ganander, MytJiol. fenn., p. 34) the same manner of 
birth is related not of Vainamoinen, but of a certain Iku-Turilas, who 
receives the title of Kave-Ukko, and is called the father of Vainamoinen. 
Cf. Krohn, Stwm. kirjall. hist, p. 451 et seq. Iku-Turilas is here that 
marine being Iki-Turso or Meri Turso who in some magic songs replaces 
the wind in the work of fecundation. Vid. Loitsurim., pp. 320, 2 a {mies 
turilas, Meritursas paitulamen), 326, 2, c. 

2 *• Kavon tekema, tuoma, kantama " : thus in many passages which 
exorcise evil from the skin of wretched man, from the hair of the work of 
Kapo, " Ihosta imehnoraukan, Karvosta kavon tekeman ". See the 
passages registered by Lonnrot under the name Kapo in the index of 
names in the Loitsurunot. 

3 Thus, for example, Loitsurun., 67, 2, "Karvalta kavon tekeman, 
Emon tuoman ruumihista," from the hair of the work of Kapo, from the 
body of the offspring of the mother. 


magic ecstasy by apostrophising his own nature (luonto) in 
words full of lofty enthusiasm and poetic emphasis. 
*' Arise, my nature, with strength ; vital genius, awake. 
From beneath the stone, shining-eyed, From beneath 
the slab, ruddy-cheeked, My nature hard as the rock, 
Eough with hairs of iron. Nature of my aged parents. Of 
my father and of my mother. Nature of my forebears. Enter 
into my own nature. (Thou shalt be) a burning shirt 
upon me, A flaming cloak. To frighten the Hiidet, To 
confound the monsters of the earth." ^ Or again : " Move* 
flesh, within me. My will, on virile back, Arise, my 
nature, strongly. My genius, readily. . . . Arise from 
dozing, From thy leisure in the garden. Long hast thou 
dozed on the ground. Long in the shady place, So that 
death is no better, To be a corpse not more beautiful. 
Arise as at other times. At my rousing. Then mountains 
melted like butter, the rocks like lard. The blue woods 
like honey, The lakes became beer, The low-lands the 
heights, at the approach of the hour divine." ^ . . . 

Here nature does not signify disposition, rjdo<i, as in 
other languages and also in Finnic ; but it stands for 
animal energy, it is the Ov/xo^ or the r/rop which the Greek 
poets are wont to apostrophise, expressed all the more 
efidcaciously that the idea of productive energy is inherent 
in the word luonto as we have seen. It is not the soul nor 
the spirit, but the ruler and guardian of the spirit, its 
tutelary genius (henken haltia). It is personified in glowing 
imaginative poetry, which addresses it as a jumala, as a 
haltia, qualifying it with attributes indicating strength and 
vigour. It has shining eyes, ruddy cheeks {paikkaposki, 
mottled cheek), rough hairs, and the hardness of stone. 
It has a daemonic character, it is the deus in nobis whom 
the tietdjd feels within him in his hour divine {jumalari 
tunti) when his least material, most lofty energies display 

1 Loitsurun., p. 26 b. Cf. Lencqvist, De super st. Fenn., xl., 1. 

2 Loitsurun. , p. 26 c. 



their action and their power. Then, in his ecstasy, he 
dominates nature and her forces, works wonders, is a 
daemon (haltia) or in the daemonic state (haltio) and his 
action is daemonic {haltioita, to work as a magician or in a 
magic ecstasy). This action, hke the productive action of 
nature, is necessarily efficacious ; it forces, seizes (lovehtia)} 
Thus (apparently at least) ^ we have, from the same root 
as the word hionto, nature, creation, the word luode, mean- 
ing fate, destiny, and also signifying powerful, fateful, 
magic words (pi. luoteet) ; and from it Lonnrot thinks we 
can also derive the word loitsija, magician.^ 

All this gives no evidence of depths of speculative 
thought ; it is simply an emphatic or poetical conception, 
translatable into myth, of the marvellous power of cosmic 
forces and of man in connection with them. And man 
appears as a wondrous being (ihminen, man; ihmis, wonder, 
miracle) * whose perfect example is found in the magician, 

1 The verb lovehtia is of Slav origin (Russ. loviti, to take, catch) and 
belongs to the language of the runes, Lovi in the sense of ecstasy or 
alienatio mentis is referred to the same root (c/. mente captus). 

2 In spite of the relation between hiote, destiny, and hwda, to produce^ 
create, especially visible in the Esthonian lodud, lot, destiny (which is the 
participial form of loma, to create), we cannot but connect this Finnic 
kiote with the Germanic los (Germ. Loos), O. N. hlautr (hlutr), A.-S, hloty 
English lot, Goth, hlautz, expressing the idea of destiny as sors, alaa, fiotpa, 
Xax^ffis, and of spell (sortilegium, sortiarius, Pr. sorcicr). In hliozan, 0. H. 
G., the meaning of sortiri passes into that of augurari, incantare ; cf. 
Grimm, Deutsche Myth., pp. 926, 866. For the narrower meaning of lot or 
lots in the sense of divination, the Finns have their own word arpa, express- 
ing to divine or conjecture, the gadati of the Russians. They say lybda 
arpaa, to cast lots. 

The Finn, wo may be derived from a German 6 (Got. o), never from a 
Germ. u. Hence luote would come from a form hldt I6t, 

* Loitsurun., p. vi. As from Kade, kadehtija, so from hiode, luodehtija, 
and hence through the changes of the dialects, lucehtija, kehtija, loihtija, 
loitsija. But Lonnrot thinks that the word may also be derived from the 
Lapp luoittet, to free (let go), whence loitsija would mean liberator. Of a 
truth neither of the etymologies is satisfactory. 

* I do not mean to say that these two words have the same root, but it 
is remarkable that they may be found in close relation 


the loitsija or tietdja, the man strong of mind, the enthusiast 
of genius (intomies), the man who murmurs in ecstasy 
(myrrismies). It is a conception which transpires and 
which we gather from the poetic word of the magic songs 
and from the epic ideals, but it is never formulated as a 
doctrine : a thing which would in fact be quite out of 
harmony with a poetry popular in the strictest sense of 
the word. Here we see the shamanic idea become en- 
nobled at the touch of European civihsation ; so that we 
use with reluctance the discredited word loizard in speaking 
of these tietdjdt, who, if they are not thinkers, have at least; 
a delicate and lofty idea of themselves and of the being of 
man, and are noble creators of poetry. Already in the 
ideas that we have explained we may observe a progress 
of the conscience and of reflection, which turns the mind 
towards the intimate reason of things, towards the force 
which rules their action. In the poetry of the magic songs 
this is continued in the power attributed to the know- 
ledge of the origi7i of things, or, as is often said, of the deep 
origin (syvdn syntyn). The loitsija or magician is essentially 
a tietdjd, a knower, a wise man. Called to propitiate what 
is good, to repeal what is evil, he must look each in the 
face, must ask and know what it is, whence it comes, must 
be the "knower of the profound cause," and in this way 
"the driver out of the grievous sickness".^ This idea, 
which in appearance is perfectly rational, has a continua- 
tion and application that are entirely poetical and fantastic. 
Evil or good, personified poetically, is dominated by the 
knowledge of it which the magician shows that he has ; 
as a person loses his force before another who knows his 
nature and his origin. And the definition of this nature 
and origin is always mythical or poetically fantastic. 
Wherever nature is poetically personified, the search for 

^ Syvan synnyn tietajaksi 
Ison pulman purkajaksi. 

— Loitsurun.f pp. 1 a, 15 et seq. 


the origin of things, good or evil, naturally leads to a pro- 
duction of myth, in which various daemonic personalities 
are seen to act. This is a stage which primitive poetry 
reaches also among other peoples. Of the same nature 
are the origins of the gods, of men, of things, which formed 
in early Greek poetry the subject of the hymns of Apollo : 
the wisdom and science of that time, as this of the tietdjdt 
appeared and still appears to the Finns. 

Many magic formulas apostrophise the things towards 
which the wizard turns his power, and ask their source. 
Thus, for example, '* Whence, sickness, art thou come? 
Hast thou slunk in, ill perverse? Into the nests of 
pine-wood, Into the rooms of timber ? From the winds 
of heaven, mayhap, Or from the deep basin of the waters ? 
liike a wind didst thou enter the house, Like a smoke 
■didst thou penetrate thither?" etc.^ Or again: "lam 
searching out thy ancestress, I am caUing to mind thy 
mother. From what place, sickness, hast thou seized 
on, Hast secretly made thy way. To the skin of the 
wretched being, To the body of a mother's son ? I know 
not who has made thee, Know not who has formed thee. 
Art thou, O sickness, created of the Creator, Death estab- 
hshed by God ? Or art thou a work of cunning, The 
fashioning of another, The created of another? ... If 
thou art an ill created of the Creator, Death established 
by God, Then I trust to my Creator, I commit myself to 
my God. The Lord does not abandon the good man, The 
Creator lets not the beautiful be lost. If thou art a work 
of cunning. Sickness caused by another, Well shall I know 
thy race, Shall I find out thy birth," etc.^ Here, as in all 
the poetry of the runes, we see by what manner of adapta- 
tion the shamanic idea has been able, not only to survive, 
but also to develop itself in poetry and myth alongside 
of the Christian idea. 

* Loitsurun., p. 14 f. ^ Ibid., p. 11 a. 


To these songs of Inquiry into the first origins, as Lonn- 
rot calls them (Alkuperdisyyden tiedustus), correspond other 
numerous songs which tell of, or rather narrate, these 
origins. The most beautiful and interesting for the myth 
they contain have been introduced by Lonnrot into the 
Kalevala. He has put them together with the same art 
which he has used in the composition of the whole poem, 
from several variants and songs ; so that they are in the 
poem much more extended than in the collection of magic 
songs. We shall not push our study of the Finnic myth 
so far as to analyse each separate myth set forth in these 
songs. It is sufficient to observe here that, being poeti- 
cally fantastic and narrative, they are already by their 
very nature epic, and afford us our principal examples of 
the passage from the magic song to the epos ; for it is in 
the magic song that the epos has its roots and finds its 
most characteristic ideahsations. In it, too, in the multi- 
phcity of origins attributed to one and the same thing by 
the different songs, in its varied use, in the mixture or 
confusion of fantastic motives serving many ends, we 
surprise the tietdjdt at their work, creating and elaborating 
in various ways their poetical representation of things, their 
personifications and mythic facts, and all that we have 
been studying up to the present time. Moreover, from 
the mass of magic songs of every kind, we can infer the 
poetical conception of man and of human excellence 
proper to the Finns ; a conception incarnated in fantastic 
individuals such as Vainamoinen and Ilmarinen, who are 
fundamental in the epos, and appear also in the magic 
songs alongside mythic individuals of another kind, such 
as Luonnotar, Kave, Tapio, Tuoni, and many others of 
whom we have spoken above. As in other mythologies 
the same poetry which produces the divine myth creates 
also the poetical idea of man, that is to say the hero-type, 
so here the magic song which originates the myth serves as 
a root to the epos : it formulates also the idea of the hero. 


We have already shown elsewhere, that the type of human 
excellence, the hero, according to the shamanic idea, is 
the shaman himself, the wizard. In Finnic poetry, 
dominated as it is by the magic song from which it took 
its origin, the hero has remained essentially a wizard ; 
and this in spite of the developments and refinements to 
which the shamanic idea has there been subjected. 

The idea of the hero is not very ancient among the 
Finns ; on the contrary, it is later than their contact with 
European peoples, as is also the development of magic 
poetry. It is worthy of note, and is almost surprising, 
that there is among them no trace of the word bogatyr, 
hero, so common under various forms among Mongolic 
and Tataric peoples, and extremely frequent among the 
Russians, who learnt it from the Tatars. We might 
have expected the Finns to bring it with them from Asia. 
There are in Finnic two words for hero : 2iros (or urhos) 
and sanhari. This last word is not found in the CareHan 
language of the runes, and hence never occurs in the 
Kalevala. In spite of the Finnic etymology which Ahl- 
qvist beHeves he has found for it, it is to my thinking 
of foreign, probably Lithuanian, origin ; ^ at any rate its 
ending ri shows it to be posterior to the influence which 
Germanic tongues exercised on Finnic.^ In Lithuanian 

^ D. Culturw. d. westfinn. Spr., p. 237 ; Suomen kiclen rakennus, p. 
10 (§ 12). He would derive it from the same root as sangen, much ; sankka 
{sankea), close, thick, coarse. It would be the only instance known of this 
ending applied to an adjective (since sangen stands to sankea as valde 
stands to validus) ; neither is there a verb from this root. For a noun of 
this meaning and ending we should expect a root expressing action. It 
seems to me better to explain sankari through the Lithuanian kara, war ; 
sa7i, with ; thus we should have sankarari, contracted to sankari, which 
would be equivalent to combatant, mitkrieger, which in the Lithuanian 
form is sankareivis. 

2 It came into Finnic together with numerous Scandinavian words in 
re (O. N. ri) ; e.g., tuomari, judge, Swed. doinare; ryUvdri, robber, Swed. rlif- 
vare ; 2>orvari, citizen, Swed. borgare, etc. It was then applied by analogy 
to words (verbs and nouns) of Finnic or other origin, as puhuri, from 


it would mean combatant (Germ, mitkrieger, Russ. soratnik), 
and would have come to the Finns without any meaning 
of epic hero, since the Lithuanians had no epic poetry. 
Uros, urhos, is a Finnic word which finds a parallel among 
Indo-European tongues, but I do not think it has been 
borrowed. It is one of those words which the Finns have 
had, ab antiqiio, in common with the Indo-Europeans. In 
spite of appearances it is not the Greek rjpox;, but its 
primary meaning is that of masculinity. Applied to an 
animal, it means that it is of the male sex ; to a man, it 
means that he is adult, male, vigorous, brave, a hero.^ 

Thus, in spite of the strong influence of neighbouring 
peoples, hero is represented in Finnic not by the held or 
hjelte, not by the recke of Germanic poetry, nor by the 
vitjaz nor the bogatyr of Russian poetry, but by an indigen- 
ous word signifying male ; while warrior is represented 
by a word of foreign origin. The fact is that heroic action 
in Germanic and Russian poetry is essentially warlike, as 
it is generally in the epos of other nations ; but it is in no 
way so in Finnic poetry. For this reason the Finnic epos 
has a special and exceptional character as compared with 
that of many other peoples. The myth contains no hint at 
the personification of warlike valour. There is no Ares, Mars, 
nor Bellona, no Tyr, no Valkyrie ; although Ukko has a 
sword of fire {tulinen miekka) which is the thunderbolt, and 

puhua, to blow ; leipari, baker, from leipa, bread, a Germanic and Slav word 
(Goth, hlaifs, Germ. Laib, Russ. hlieb), but which had not come to the 
Finns with that ending, etc. Cf. Ahlqvist, Suomen kielen rakennus, p. 9 
et seq., § 12. 

1 Ahlqvist {Culturw., p. 204) compares it with vir, Lith. vyras, etc. 
But the idea of sex predominates in its meaning, represented especially by 
certain animals ; orasa, male and wild boar ; oro, stallion ; Mordw. iiris, 
castrated boar ; Osset. urs, stallion ; O. N. iZrr, bison ; A.-S. ur ; Mod. Germ. 
auer {ochs) ; Goth. Urus, represented in the Lat. urus ; Sans. vrsJms, bull j 
Gr. fdpcrrfv, male ; Zend, arshas, man, male animal. Cf. Budenz, Magyar- 
ugor osszehasenlito szdtdr, n. 967 ; Koppen, rodinje indo-europeiskovo i 
finno-ugorskovo plemeni, in the Zurnal minist. nar. prosvjclc., Nov., 188G, 
p. 50. 


figures in the epos as the giver of swords. The poetic 
glorification, nay apotheosis of those killed in war, which 
so greatly distinguishes the Scandinavian myth, is wanting 
here. In this connection the Finns came in no wise 
under the influence of the strong and warlike peoples with 
whom they were in often violent contact, and by whom 
they were overpowered and dominated : to the voice of 
this warlike poetry they were altogether deaf. Through- 
out the whole of their poetry the martial sentiment finds 
but rare and faint expression. The magic songs for the 
protection of him who is going to war ^ are certainly not 
those of great warriors ; Gunnar, Dobrynia, Achilles, 
Eoland, Marco KraljevicJ would have had nothing to do 
with them. The type of the Man going to war is often 
found among the creations of this poetry, and in the epos 
is embodied in Lemminkainen, who is as much attracted 
by woman as he is desirous of adventures in far-off lands 
(Kaukomieli). He is unstable and restless as the wave of 
the sea (Ahti), for which reason he is always qualified as 
lieto poika,'^ and has sometimes a sotatoveri or comrade in 
arms (Tiera). But all this comes from abroad. It is the 
subject of Norse ballads (Kdmpcviser) , and has passed into 
the popular poetry of other countries. In it the adven- 
turous character prevails over the warlike : the war-motif 
is never developed in it, and still less is it developed epi- 
cally as a poetic-historical fact and one of national valour. 
This hero, who is represented as a man of the sword, 
makes but little use of his sword, and in his most vigorous 
action appears as a magician like all the rest. Nor indeed 
does the Finnic epos ever treat of war properly so called. 
Of peoples and countries no mention is made : there can 
therefore be no conflict of peoples, and the heroes cannot 
figure as princes or kings or leaders or TroL/nive^; Xacov as in 

1 Loitsurun., p. 152 (n. 81) et seq., and pp. 234 (n. 63) et seq., 236 (n. 54). 

^ Cf. Castrfen, F. MythoL, pp. 317 et seq., who, however, goes too far in 

considering Lemminkainen as originally identical with Ahti, god of the sea. 


the epos of other peoples. There are encounters and con- 
flicts among individuals ; but their weightiest arm, and the 
one they most frequently use, is not the spear nor the 
sword, but the magic word. All this throws no discredit 
on the character of the Finns, who, although not warhke 
and enterprising, are noble and have much strength of 
resistance ; but it reflects a people which is modest, 
quiet, resigned, and has hitherto figured in history rather 
among passive than among active nations. 

The sentiment of force and valour, which finds its 
warmest, highest and most frequent expression in the 
runes and is reflected in the epic ideals, is that of the 
magic power. This vibrates through all the magic runes. 
We have already seen an example of it in the words with 
which the wizard arouses his own genius or nature. It 
expands and becomes more exphcit principally in those 
numerous formulas which Lonnrot has collected under 
the common title of Words of Vaunting (kerskaussanat),^ in 
the Words of Threatening (uhkasaiiat),^ etc., and others under 
different titles which figure among the general formulas 
in that collection. Let us listen to one of them : " Arrows 
prick me not, A sharp edge cuts me not, The wizard's 
darts prick me not, The charmer's blades cut me not. 
The sharp edge, I blunt it ; The point, I turn it aside. 
My skin is of sand. My scalp of iron. My trunk of tar, 
composed of branches of the pine. When I rush into 
battle, Measure myself with men, I shall cast a spell over 
the magicians with their darts, Over the archers with, 
their arms, Over the wizards with their knives. Over the 
charmers with their blades. (I will banish them) to the 
rushing waterfall of Kutja, To the dreadful foaming whirl- 
pool. Under the highest flood that falls, Under the most 
perilous whirlpool, Amid the stones of the cascades, To 
the smoking slabs, That they may be consumed Hke fire, 

1 Loitsurun., pp. 27-34. '^ Ibid., pp. 35-37. 


That they may fly up like sparks. There let the wizards 
be put to rest, There let the malign ones sleep, Until the 
grass shall grow, Through the skull, through the helmet, 
Through the shoulder-blades of the wizard put to sleep, 
Of the malign one put to rest." ^ Another formula runs : 
■*'I am the son of a man of Pohjola; A man of Turja 
cradled me, A Lapp rocked me in a cradle of iron. Ukko 
thundered in the sky, Thundered Ukko, trembled the 
earth, In water dissolved the clouds of God, With fire 
crackled the sky. At the birth of this boy, At his coming 
to the light. Him would I call a man now, Would esteem 
a hero, Who should bend my bow. Who my bow should 
bend. Lately, just yesterday, I threw an armful of sticks 
On to the clayey soil of the field, On to the dry earth ; I 
caused hurtful vipers to grow, Serpents held I in my hand ; 
A thousand men armed I with swords In a single summer 
night ; I went where the bear abides, To the dwelling of the 
brindled bear, Bitted the wolves. Put chains on the bears, 
A halter on a she-devil, Hanged a Hiisi on the gallows." ^ 

These, and there are many other examples, are words 
•of boasting with which the wizard seeks to frighten the 
evil he is exorcising ; but this is really the way in which 
he feels himself virile and weighty, a man of real name 
<{mies 7nieheksi mainittava), an uros or hero, as he frequently 
calls himself. What appear here as fleeting words of 
fantastic vaunting, estabhsh a poetical ideal of the hero 
and of heroic action which becomes concrete and is de- 
veloped in the epos. It is easily seen that the prodigies 
of superhuman valour which, always through the power 
of magic, distinguish the heroic action of the Kalevala, 
^re of the same nature. 

In this identification of the wizard and poet with the 
hero, in this poetical enumeration of the wondrous, mighty 
-deeds which he has himself performed, lies the explana- 

1 Loitsurun., p. 28 d. 2 jjj^.^ p_ 31 jj. 


"tion of a singular fact peculiar to the Finnic epic songs. 
'The singer may not only substitute one name for another, 
a common thing in popular narrations of every kind and 
of every nation, but he very often substitutes himself for 
the hero and says I ; presenting the deed as performed by 
himself instead of by Lemminkainen, Ilmarinen, or some 
of the other heroes to whom other variants attribute it.^ 
This occurs also in song which is purely narrative and 
has no magic purpose; but it is an additional proof of 
the continuity we can show in many ways to exist 
between the magic song and the traditional narrative 
poetry of the Finns. It would not be likely to occur in 
the poetry of other peoples where there is not the same 
identity between the nature of the poet and that of the 

The magician does not feel his nobility and present it 
in his songs, as his own individual virtue alone ; he boasts 
that he has received it as an inheritance from his father 
and ancestors.^ This is one of the predominant ideas in 
shamanism, and goes so far, among some peoples, as 
almost to establish a caste. Among the Finns, where in 
Addition to magic there is also a development of poetry, it 
represents simply the oral tradition or transmission of the 
songs from father to son; although this does not take 
place only from father to son. We should naturally 
think that to such an idea of themselves, their fathers 
and their function in general, there must have been united 
the record of the most illustrious, memorable, and coura- 
geous representatives of their power in past times. But 

^ Krohn, Suomal. kirjallis. hist., p. 120. Examples are found in 
several of the Variants of tlie Kdlevala {Kalevalan toisintiot) already 

2 Vid. the song already quoted on p. 225 ; also, among others, Loitsu- 
run., p. 33 r, where the wizard boasts of his illustrious race {heivwkuntani 
heleci), which never gave way before the Lapps, before their malignant 
arts : " When my father sang, Hair dropped with sweat, Fields shook 
■within their boundaries, Earth trembled throughout its members," etc. 


this is not the case. The fame of the tietdjd is Hmited 
and passing. The oldest of those still living remember 
some more famous tietdjd of the times of their youth ; 
but as generations succeed each other these records 
become effaced. The runes, too, being essentially imper- 
sonal, preserve no trace of them. We must not, therefore, 
yield to the temptation of understanding the heroes of the 
epos in an Euhemeristic sense, as having for a nucleus 
the memory of some illustrious magician. As v^e have 
already said, the historic sentiment is entirely v^anting 
in this poetry. Although the tietdjdt speak of family, 
stock, fathers, forefathers, this is never more than an 
emphatic poetical expression of their ovi^n value, it is 
never embodied in actual names ; the genealogy of living 
tietdjdt exists no more than does that of divinities and 
heroes. The idea of the knowledge and power of those 
who have passed away, finds an utterance, as we have 
seen, quite impersonally in the myth concerning the 
regions of the dead, in the knowledge and power attri- 
buted to Tuoni or to Vipunen. This explains the singu- 
larly small number of heroes whom the epos presents to 
us in action ; there would be a crowd of them, as among so 
many other peoples, if any historical motive or sentiment 
had determined their poetical existence. 

The same poetry of personification which has created 
the mythic ideals of the region of the dead with its power 
and knowledge, of cosmic and individual productive force, 
of Luonnotar, of Kave, of the Ilman impi, has also created 
the supreme, typical ideal of the wizard ; not dead like 
Vipunen, but acting and living in the world of living 
poetry, embodying and reaHsing the boast, empty though 
it be, of the tietdjdt of the actual world and their aspira- 
tions, just as Achilles or Sigurd did those of every Greek 
or Germanic warrior. This ideal type is Vainamoinen, to 
whom is joined another, Ilmarinen, representing another 
side or aspect of the same idea, and therefore figuring. 


in constant connection with Vainamoinen and also as his 
brother. These two are not properly characters, as are, for 
example, Lemminkainen and Kullervo, whom the poetry 
itself defines as such by the epithets it gives them, but are 
two states or conditions. As such, indeed, are they con- 
stantly defined by the poetry, Vainamoinen being called 
tietdjd or laulaja, and Ilmarinen seppd, smith, or takoja, 
iron-beater. But the first and weightiest of all heroes is 
Vainamoinen. He may be said to stand to the others as 
Herakles stands to Achilles ; to whom, from this point of 
view, Ilmarinen may be compared. Vainamoinen, the 
poetical concentration of the shamanic idea, of the potent 
traditional wisdom of the tietdjdt, is eternal (idn-ikumen), 
and is always old (vanha). To him, ancient of days and 
wise among the wise, does popular wisdom trace its origin, 
•even outside the magic song and the epos ; ascribing to 
him many proverbs or wise sayings or thoughts.^ Strong 
and powerful through the force of his thought, miraculous 
singer and charmer, he finds a complement in his com- 
panion Ilmarinen, smith and artificer ; who represents 
-another kind of talent which is also magic and wondrous. 
Since, according to the imaginative poetry of the magic 
runes, the wizard is also a smith, he uses arms and knows 
how to make weapons of offence and defence ; his songs 
are darts and arrows (as Pindar, /3e\r], KrjXa, also calls his), 
with which he strikes ; he is a dart-thrower (ampuja), and 
swords, blades, knives are also his instruments. " I am 
the son of a young wizard, Descended of old magicians. 
Yet a little while ago I went to the smithy, I went yester- 
day, I went to-day. To make steel, To work iron. Of steel 
I made me foot-coverings. Of copper I cast me a shirt. 
Which the darts of the wizard shall not pierce, The 
knives of the magician, The sharp weapons of the 

^ These are united into a song by Lonnrot in the Kanteletar, i., 90, 
under the title Sayings of Vainamoinen {Vdinamoisen sanoja), and 
inserted by him in several places in the Kalevala. 


tietdjd."'^ And the tictdjd is seppd or smith (runoseppd) even 
as poet, an image used also by the Scandinavians. This 
imaginative speech, common and very abundant in the 
poetry of the magic songs, leads to the ideal of a wondrous 
smith of great power, who is originally simply the magi- 
cian exalted and poetically defined as a smith, but who 
afterwards takes form in the epos as a kind of Mimir or 
Volundr. For here we must recognise the influence of 
the parallel Scandinavian myth ; which was known to 
the Finns, however, in some popular form, never as in 
the Edda or the Vilkina saga. The divine smith is 
an element in the myth of many peoples, and it is useless 
to call to mind his origin here. In Finnic myth and poetry 
at any rate, connected in the first intent with Vainamoinen, 
he has the origin we have explained ; however much he 
may have, like Vainamoinen himself, afterwards grown 
in the confluence of other popular ideas. To this won- 
drous smith, called sometimes simply sinith, sometimes I 
(the singer himself), was given the name Ilmari or Ilmari- 
nen ; the same name which personifies good or bad 
weather {ilma), favourable or otherwise to travellers. It 
is also found among the Lapps,^ although they know 
nothing of Ilmarinen the smith. From ilma, air or 
weather, is formed Ilmari, as from puhua, to blow, is 
formed Puhuri, personifying the blast of the strong wind, 
especially the north wind.^ The smith has nothing to do 
with this ; he should perhaps rather be referred to fire (like 
Hephaistos) or to iron, than the air or to fine weather. But 
the part played by Ilmarinen in the myths on the origin 
of fire and on that of iron only presents him as smith ; he 

^ Loitsurun., p. 29, and i., 7 et seq. 

2 Agricola says : " Ilmarinen rauhan ja ilman tei ; Ja matkamieheb 
edes vei ". Cf. Ganander, Mythol. fennica, s. n. Ilmarinen. 

•^ Friis, Lappish MytJwlogi, p. 37 et seq. The name is Ilmaris ; ilhme 
or ilme has in Lapp, like ihna in Finnic, the meaning of tempestaSy Germ. 
Wetter. There is no trace of the smith among the Lapps. 


never appears as identified with these elements.^ The 
opinion of Castren and others that Hmarinen was origin- 
ally a god of the air, is, notwithstanding the Bma, air,, 
which is in the name, inadmissible ; as also is inadmis- 
sible the same principle applied to Vainamoinen and 
Lemminkainen, in whom Castren believes that he re- 
cognises ancient deities become men, the first represent- 
ing the water, the second the earth. This exegetical 
resource may be rightly used in the explanation of other 
mythologies, more developed and mature, as are those of 
the Greeks and the Scandinavians, although here also- 
much fault may be found with the arbitrary way in which 
it is too often apphed. But the Finnic myth is the off- 
spring of a poetry which is still elementary, which has 
remained ingenuous and transparent in its personifica- 
tions, with divine ideals but slightly determined as per- 
sons, little matured and developed; so that it is vain to- 
expect in it that elaboration which, in the course of a. 
long and agitated poetical existence, changes the ideal of ark 
ancient god into that of a hero. Here, for the heroes of 
whom we are speaking, the process is exactly the reverse. 
Personification exists, but its fundamental idea being; 
man, personified in certain of his higher attributes and 
functions, the personages do not figure as divine, but are 
essentially men, as is every itros and every tietdjd. They 
display, however, so many of the higher attributes in 
their action that, to a greater or less degree, they ap- 
proach the idea of the divine being, and come to be con- 
sidered as divine, or put side by side with God; this 

^ Gastren, Finsk MythoL, p. 316, calls to mind the Inmar, god of the 
sky, of the Votyaks, identifying him with Hmarinen. In spite of appear- 
ances they have in common only the word in, sky, which may have a 
common root with the Finnic lima, air. But the Finnic Ilmari is. 
Ilniari, the Votyak Inmar is In-mar, the second part meaning wJw ; so 
that we have "he who is in the sky," the celestial being. This is a lesa 
ancient form of the name of the Votyak deity. The most ancient is invu^ 
sky water. Vid. Max Buch, Die Wotjaken, p. 128 et seq. 


sometimes happens to Vainamoinen and to Ilmarinen.^ 
The virtue of the hero is here not the virtue of physical 
strength, but of wondrous magic that can, according to the 
shamanic idea, dominate the divine beings themselves and 
put the tietdjd into a daemonic state (haltio) ; hence it is 
reasonable that the magic songs should invoke aid from 
Vainamoinen or from Ilmarinen, or from both together. 
True, they are thus placed beside real divinities, such as 
Ahti, Tapio, etc., also invoked in these songs, but they 
are not confounded w^ith them : the one is alv^^ays looked 
upon as the supreme tietdjd, the other as the supreme 
takoja, both eternal (idn-ikuinen) as the ancient, traditional 
shamanic pov^^er and w^isdom which they represent. 

It is difficult to say how the eternal smith came to be 
called Ilmarinen ; as it is always difficult to trace the 
connection between typical heroes and their names, even 
when the etymology of the latter is clear. I suspect that 
the name of Lake Ilmen (in Finn. Ilmajdrvi or Lake 
lima) may be concerned in it. The Russian hyliny also 
personify this lake,^ though not as a smith. It is situated 
in a more southern region, formerly Finnic,^ now Russian, 
where are the Voldai Hills celebrated for their smiths. "* 
But I feel the weakness of this conjecture. 

As to Vainamoinen, I am inchned to accept Ahlqvist's 

^ Itse ilmoinen Jumala, 
Itse vanha Vainamoinen, 
Itse seppo Ilmarinen, etc. 

— Loitsurun. , pp. 34 a, 63 et seq. 
2 Vid. Afanasieff, Poetic, vozzr. Slavjan iia jyrirodu^ ii., p. 229 et seq. 
^ Cf. Europoeus, Nagra hypotlieser ang&ende VdinoUC, Pohjola och 
<indra i Kalevala dikten fdrekominende namn., in Annaler for nord. Old- 
kyndighet og historie, 1861, who maintains that the Ilmen region was one 
of the first abodes of the Finns. But he is dreaming when he takes the 
lima (air) of the Kalevala, i., iii. et seq., for the Ilmen. 

* Ilmen, in Russian dialect, means any lake, or a low place with 
many pools ; cf. Buslaeff, Istoric. oierki, i., p. 460. In the magic songs 
iron is always spoken of as existing in its natural state in marshes, as it 
Actually does. 


etymology. He derives the name from the name of the 
Dvina (Finn. Viena, Finn. Esth. VdiTid), so that it would 
mean he of the Dvina or the man of the Dviyia} As a 
matter of fact the Dvina district is still the principal home 
of magic and epic runes. With this is in accordance the 
other name v^hich we find given to the same hero, Suvan- 
tolainen, from suvanto, a quiet reach between waterfalls 
or rapids ; and also the expression Vainamoinen's road 
applied to a journey on a calm sea.^ 

We have no instance of the personification of the 
Dvina among the Russians ; but they personify the 
Volchoff, which flows from L. Ilmen, and make a wizard 
of it (Russ. volhv, whence the Finn, velho in the same 
sense).^ But Vainamoinen is not so much the personifi- 
cation of the river, as of the tietdjd of that region, who 
has become the ideal of all tietdjdt 

Next to these two, the hero who has most action in 
the epos is Lemminkainen ; and it appears that he forms 
a triad with the other two. Castren * and Krohn,^ who 
hold this opinion, have placed this Finnic group in con- 
nection with the 'triad of the principal Scandinavian 
deities : Odhin, Hoenir, Loki, or else Odhin, Tyr (or 
Freya), Thor. This is a delusion. The only connection 
is between Vainamoinen and Ilmarinen ; Lemminkainen 
stands alone and is a type of quite a different nature, 
origin and intent. The magic runes hardly name him. 
He is seen but once in company with the other two, and 

1 Kalevalan Karjalaisuus, p. 108 ct seq. Grimm is mistaken {Deutsche 
Myth., xxiv.) when he thinks that Vainamoinen has to do with the Lapp 
vaino desiderium (in Finn, it means ambush, pursuit). 

2 Perhaps the idea of the course of the river is not altogether foreign to 
the great use made in the magic runes of the belt (vyo) of Vainamoinen ; 
which is a kind of arsenal in which the wizard finds or places all kinds of 
things — swords, brushes, birds' wings (for use in anointings), etc. 

^ AfanasiefE, Poetic, vozzr. Slavjanna prirodu, ii., pp. 225, 557; Bus. 
laeff, Istoric. ocerki, ii., p. 8 et seq. 

^ Finsk Mythol., p. 324. ^ Suom. kirjall. hist., p. 231 et seq. 



that in a song/ evidently an echo of the epic song in 
which figure the three heroes, the Expedition for the 
Sampo ; and in this Lemminkainen is really nothing 
but an intruder.^ Lemminkainen acts through the 
magic song, as does every other Finnic hero ; as also 
does KuUervo, whose origin we have already recounted. 
But he is not essentially a representative of the tietdjdt. 
He is a popular type with various names and adventures 
drawn from various sources ; and has his field of 
action rather in Paivola than in Pohjola, in the Search 
for a Bride and the undertakings to obtain her. He 
bears names significative of character, as we have seen ; 
the chief of which was also sometimes used by Finns and 
Livonians as the name of real personages.^ In spite of 
his name Ahti, he has with the god of the sea only a 
moral relation, in so far as he is as unstable as the waves : 
he is certainly not a god of the waters fallen on bad days, 
as Gastrin would have us believe. Neither can we, with 
all our researches, find a naturalistic sense in him. His 
is an ever-changing figure, recognisable from its charac- 
ter, but bearing various names in various adventures : he 
is a true lieto poika even for the scholar who studies him, 
but fails to grasp him amid the inconsistency of his 
essence and his deeds. He is principally connected with 
songs and feasts for the brewing of beer, and is hence 
sometimes confused (under the name of Ahti) with the 
sower and plougher Pellervoinen. On one hand the 
story of his Expedition by Sea (here also with the name of 
Ahti) connects him with the poetry of the magic songs 
relating to ice,'^ and hence with Pohjola ; on the other, 

1 Loitsuriin., p. 157 d {Magic Song of the Traveller by Water). 

2 Vid. the chapter on the composition of the Kalevala. 

3 Vid. the index of names in the third edition of the Kalevala, s. n. 

* Cf. Krohn, Svxym. kirjall. hist., p. 401, who is, however, wrong in 
thinking that this Ahti is the god of the sea. More correct is Lonnrot, 


his death and resurrection (here with the name of Lem- 
minkainen) connect hnn with the mythic idea of Tuonela 
or of the region of the dead, which was generated, as we 
have seen, from the shamanic idea and from the magic 
runes. We have not in this case, as in that of Kullervo 
son of Kaleva, a mj^thic conception to which a popular 
type has been appHed ; we have on the contrary a type 
popular in stories and ballads (incidents with Kyllikki, 
incidents at Saari) ^ to which have been applied concep- 
tions originally mythic of various nature and various 
origin. In the Exjjedition by Sea for example, on the ice 
in company with Tiera, comrade in arms, there is an 
echo of the Thor myth under its popular forms ; ^ as in 
the death of Lemminkainen we seem to find a remem- 
brance of the Balder myth.^ 

who (index of the names in the Loitsurun., under the name of Ahti) recog- 
nises Lemminkainen in the "Ahti poika Pellervoinen" {Loitsurun., p. 
310) ; although he is mistaken when he does the same in other places 
^where Ahti is clearly the god of the sea (thus pp. 157, 1, 17, 169, 1, 1, etc.). 

^ Cf. Kanteletar, ii., n. 13 {Ahti ja Kauko), 14 {Kalervon poika ja Kau- 
Jcatnoinen), and the tales given by Krohn, Suom. kirjall. hist., p. 155 et seq., 
with elements of the deeds of Kullervo and of Lemminkainen. 

2 1 do not, however, think that Tiera is Thor or Tyr, the Norse god of 
war, as Krohn would have it. It is the Scandinavian name Dyri ; the 
same borne by the Varyag, comrade of Askold, who, having set out from 
Rurik in search of adventures, founded the principality of Kiew. Cf. on 
this name Thomsen, Der Urspr. d. russ. St., p. 141. The two adventurers 
go with many ships to attack Constantinople ; the bishop places a holy 
image on the shore ; a tempest arises and overwhelms their ships ; they 
are converted and go back. 

^' Cf. Krohn, Suom. kirjall. hist., pp. 270, 259 et seq. The Balder myth 
is itself a Scandinavian composition put together from foreign elements 
and motives, as had been already observed and was chiefly proved by 
Bugge {Stud, ilber die Ensteh. der nord. Gotter- und Heldensagen). But 
it is clear that, from the Scandinavian myth above all others, the Finns 
have taken the motive of the death of Lemminkainen, which they have, 
however, treated freely, changing it to suit their own ideals. Balder, 
beloved by all, can only be hurt by the mistletoe {mistel) ; for all things 
have sworn not to wound him, except this little plant, which no one 
thought of asking to take the oath : and with the mistletoe he is killed. 


We have said that the Finnic hero is not a warrior but 
essentially a wizard. This applies to physical war. Magic 
struggle there is, and war, bitter war, breathes from all the 
magic songs. For the tietdjd is in combat with all evil 
powers, is the hero who must and can conquer them. His 
poetry, his song, is full of warhke images : he speaks of 
blows, of swords, of darts, of knives, and his enemies are 
not only the ills he combats, not only the evil genii 
who personify and cause them, like Hiisi, Lempo and 
others, but are also beings of his own kind, heroes as he is, 
other wizards. There are malignant and hurtful wizards, 
as ideal as are Hiisi and Lempo, against whom he fights, 
destroying by his power their perverse work, turning back 
their darts against themselves. These wizards, malignant, 
strong and very powerful, are Lapps. With these, fre- 
quently mentioned in the magic runes, he is at war ; but he 
has a high idea of their ability and power ; so that Lapp 
is equivalent to wizard, and the tietdjd even calls himself a 
Lapp in some cases. There is, moreover, frequent expres- 
sion of rivalry and vaunt of superior power : " Me the 
Lapp cannot charm, The man of Turja cannot seize me. 
But I can charm the Lapp, I can seize the man of Turja," 
etc.^ Or again : " I, a man created by Jumala, Made of a 
good maker. Offspring of two beings, Created by the three 
Luonnotaret, Bewitch wizards. Charm charmers. Charm 

So Lemminkainen, equally beloved and sympathetic, knowing the magic 
word against the wound of all things, except that of serpents, is killed by 
means of a serpent. The mistletoe is hurled at Balder by the blind god 
Hodr; the serpent is hurled at Lemminkainen by a blind shepherd of 
Pohjola, who has no name but is distinguished by the epithet mdrkahattii, 
with a wet hat. Here it is evident that in the popular, oral Scandinavian 
tales known to the Finns, Hodr was qualified by the epithet morkr, gloomy 
(blind), which was changed into the Finnic word most resembling it in 
sound, mdrkci, wet, just as the name Hiidr, which recalls the Norse word 
haettr, hat, was changed into hattu, hat; and we have a man without 
a name but with a wet hat (m&rkahattu). Krohn explains the mUrkd, 
differently, op. cit., p. 259. 
1 Loitsitrun., p. 27 b. 


all the Lapps, Charm the Hiidet and put them to flight," 
etc.^ These Lapps Hve in the north, in Pohja, and, as we 
have seen, mingle in the idea of Pohjola according to our 
definition of its origin and primary meaning; so that 
Pohjola is very frequently mentioned together with the 
lean wizards, the Lapps {Lappalainen laika poika). The 
same poetry that creates the ideal of these two hostile 
or rival camps also creates the ideals of the heroes that 
represent one and the other. Just as the good Finnic 
camp has its Vainamoinen and its Ilmarinen, so the 
hostile Lapp camp has its Joukahainen and its LyyHkki, 
one a tietdjd, the other a smith. But these are minor 
figures, of whom only the first, and that only once, is men- 
tioned in the magic songs as a peevish little being (envious 
of Vainamoinen), with spleen of stone.^ Lyyhkki works 
in hard wood {lylyen seppd) and makes snow-shoes. He 
figures but momentarily in the epos and not as a wizard.^ 
The Lady of Pohjola is the one who, properly speaking, 
embodies, both in the magic songs and in the epos, the 
ideal of the powerful magic of the Lapps ; she is an epic 
heroine fit to stand by Vainamoinen and Ilmarinen. But 
there are special cantos in the epos which represent, nay 
almost dramatise the rivalry between the Finnic and Lapp 
tietdjdt. This happens, for instance, in the Competition in 
Song (Kilpalaulanto) between Vainamoinen and Jouka- 
hainen, or more simply, as is seen in many variants, be- 
tween Vainamoinen and the Lapp (Lappalainen) ; in the 
latter's envy and long hatred of Vainamoinen's know- 
ledge and power ; in the shooting of the arrow by which 
he at last gives vent to his feelings. Here we find 
united in one person the arrow-shooter (ampuja), the 

^ Loitsurun., p. 30 g. 

2 •' Kivi .... Perna pienen Joukahainen " (Stone .... Spleen of 
the little Joukahainen), Loitsurun., p. 282, 14 a. 

^ To him, however, is attributed the pursuit of the stag of Hiisi, 
which in the Kalevala (rune xiii.) is referred to Lemminkainen. 


dart-thrower (miolet), or the ideal Lapp of the magic 
songs. He is, moreover, also called Joukahainen, be- 
cause he uses the bow like a uros, a hero or male, a Lapp, 
according to a definition proper to the Lapps themselves, 
who call Juksakka (the old woman or mother of the 
bow) the goddess who presides over the birth of men- 

The Competition in Song is of the highest importance 
in the definition of the nature and essence of the Finnic 
epos ; for in it is concentrated the feehng which vibrates 
in the magic songs, and accompanies, like a symphony, all 
the heroic action of the epos. It is the clearest and most 
immediate epic formula of the ideals which move through 
the mind of the tietdjd at the birth of the magic songs, 
the most evident example of that strict continuity we 
have shown to exist between the magic and epic runes. 
Lonnrot did well to place it in the second edition among 
the first cantos of the poem. It. is of no importance that 
Joukahainen should disappear and not be spoken of again : 
all the poem is in harmony with this prelude, for the con- 
flict and rivalry with the Lapps and the men of Pohjola 
is founded exclusively on the feeling of rivalry in magic 
action, which is here confounded with heroic action. As 
we read the Kalevala we must put absolutely on one side 
the hope so likely to be conceived, of finding in these epic 
songs of the Finns as in the epos of other peoples, his- 
torical records, and especially an echo of the ancient 
conflict between the advancing Finns and the Lapps 
driven back by them towards the north.^ And, in fact. 

^ Friis, Lappish MythoL, pp. 87, 92. This is, I think, the explanation of 
the name of Joukahainen. Bow is in Lapp j"mA;s ox juoks, in Y\nn\c joiisi 
or joutsi. That in some places of northern Finland the swan is called 
Joukahainen (vid. the index of names in the third edition of the Kalevala, 
8. n. Jouk) has nothing to do with the name of the Lapp hero. This is 
only an instance of phonetic interchange ; joutsen means swan. 

2 This is the only idea worthy of mention that has been advanced 
concerning the meaning of the Kalevala. It occurs in various forms 


even without the investigations that have been made, it 
would remain an unheard-of and inexplicable phenomenon 
that the Finnic epos should preserve traces of struggle or 
contact with no other peoples than the Lapps ; while the 
language affords clear proof of their long contact with 
nations of far higher importance, who exercised a profound 
influence on their thought. The truth is, as we have al- 
ready said several times, that no idea of history exists 
here. The shamanic idea is the predominant one : it 
develops the myth, as we have seen, in the magic song ; 
and develops the epos which, an offshoot of the latter, 
keeps close to the myth. One only real and historical 
fact can we recognise in all this : the shamanic character 
of the first rehgion of Finns and Lapps ; that ancient 
fame they enjoyed among neighbouring peoples for skill 
in magic, which may be called their sole ancient national 
glory. For this was the only reason why the Finns were 
remembered and sought after by the Scandinavians ; ^ 

among scholars, from the first writings of Lonnrot down to the last of 
Ahlqvist. Of mythic, symbolic, allegorical explanations, which in fact 
few took seriously, it is useless to speak here ; especially after our exposi- 
tion of the Finnic myth (they are given by Krohn, Suomal. kirjall. hist., 
p. 567 et seq.). But scholars were not wanting who recognised the weak- 
ness and vanity also of historical explanation : thus Tengstrom, in his 
sensible work on the Kalevala in Fosterldndskt Album, Helsingf., 1845, i., 
p. 130 et seq. It is still a question whether the Lapps have ever had a 
more southern abode than at present. Gustavus Retzius, the able anthro- 
pologist, discusses the question thoroughly, and comes to a negative con- 
clusion {Oni lapparnas fordna uthredning i Finland), in a chapter of his 
fine work Finska Kranier (p. 148 et seq.). Ahlqvist in his last book 
(Kalevalan Karjalaisuus, p. 180 et seq.), justly excluding explanations 
mythical, allegorical, etc., gives verdict in favour of the historical explana- 
tion ; but believes that the Kalevala received its first impulse from an 
enmity between Carelians and Lapps on account of the real or supposed 
wealth of the latter, which the former were desirous of possessing. This 
rests on a false interpretation of the Sampo, as we shall see ; and also on 
the exaggerated importance Finnic scholars give to the Scandinavian 
sagas relating to the Biarms. Vid. sup., p. 58. 

^ Vid. the abundant information on this subject collected by Uhland, 
Der Mythus von Thor {Schriften, vi.), pp. 398-417. Cf. also the anony- 


although they were here surpassed by the Lapps, gener- 
ally confused by the Scandinavians under the name of 
Finns. The magic and epic runes reflect this ancient 
glory of the Lapps in the magic art, and their subsequent 
rivalry with the Finns. 

Since, in the shamanic idea, gods, genii or spirits 
are rather passive than active and the action of the 
shaman predominates, the myth of divine personalities 
or of genii as agents has had small development in the 
poetry of the magic runes, the creator of these daemonic 
personifications and ideals. Such development has taken 
place, on the contrary, in the ideal of shamanic action em- 
bodied in a few heroic types whose origin we have seen : 
in narrative songs which are not always without a magic 
purpose, but which, describing heroic action, have an epic 
character. Nevertheless there reigns in this action the 
same individualism and the same indeterminateness that 
we have shown to exist in the divine myth : there is no 
family or society of heroes ; there are not essentially either 
peoples or country ; the world in which the heroic action 
takes place is not that of history nor of saga, but is 
the indeterminate world of popular tales. Heroic enter- 
prise is of personal, not of common interest ; it is a thing 
that stands by itself ; there is no continuity of events : 
organisation is as far from the mind of the laulajat in 
the epos as it is in the myth. So that, although there are 
separate epic songs which can be arranged in various 
ways one after another, as the various related magic songs 
can be, yet the idea of making a continuous poem out of 
them is as remote as that of uniting all the magic songs 
into a whole. 

mous author, Isldndarnes Berdttelser om de fordna Finnarna, in 
Fosterlandskt Album (Helsingf., 1845), i., p. 73 et seq. ; Beauvois, La 
magie chez les Finnois, in Revue de I'hist. des religions, ii., p. 275 et seq.; 
Fritzner, Lappernes Hedenskab og Trolldomskunst, in Norsk Historisk 
Tidskrift, iv., pp. 160 et seq., 184 et seq., etc. 


The motive power of the heroic action is very simple, 
and as httle varied as the heroes are few in number. In 
a large group of songs the motive is the Wooing of the 
Bride (Finn, kosinta, Swed. Frieri). The heroes show 
themselves such especially in the difficult trials (ansiotyot) 
or adXa which they must perform to obtain the bride. 
This is a motive common to popular story and poetry, 
which figures also in the epos of several nations; be- 
ginning, in Europe, with the Greeks. Here among the 
Finns it is connected with the myth of Paivola or of Saari, 
of which we have spoken ; and it uses or continues poetic 
material whose elements or promptings are found in Norse 
ballads, in Lithuanian songs and also in the Eussian 
hyliny. Various types of women appear in it. Some 
have daemonic characteristics, in harmony v^th the myth 
and poetry of the magic runes ; such are the Maiden who 
sits on the rainbow, the Beautiful maiden of Pohjola, who, in 
accordance with the evolution of which we have spoken, 
replaces in the epos the black, wicked maiden of Pohjola 
of the magic songs. Others, more purely human and 
very attractive, as Aino (Anni), Kyllikki, Kullervo's sister, 
emerge from the poetry of the ballads. Another type, 
all the more beautiful that it bears no other name than 
7?iother, is the mother of Lemminkainen, a marvellous 
Demeter who, to find her son, displays heroic energy — an 
energy that shows itself, however, in magic action. For 
whatever be the origin of the hero or the heroine, action 
and worth are always of a magic nature. Lemminkainen, 
who is, as we have seen, foreign to the magic songs, acts 
through his power as a magician, and so does his mother. 
On the other hand, the heroic types that directly ideahse 
shamanic worth, and emerge exclusively from the magic 
song, also display their character and their valour in the 
Search for a Bride, although this is quite outside their original 
nature. This happens not only in the case of Ilmarinen, 
but also in that of the ever old Vainamoinen himself. 


The theme of the Search for a Bride is treated super- 
ficially, with little consistency. It often brings the 
hero into action and then disappears, as though it were 
but a pretext for presenting him and his wondrous 
deeds. There is neither amorous passion nor chivalric 
feeling ; although pathos and sentiment are not want- 
ing, they are never of this kind. The small efiicacy 
of the amorous motive is, it is true, proper to primitive 
epos in general, which represents the hero as too strong 
to give way to so small a sentiment ; but there is in the 
epos of other nations the pride of the heroic character 
outraged in the possession of the woman, a motive strongly 
efficacious in determining conflict and abundant heroic 
action. This is altogether wanting in the Finnic epos. 
The Wooing of the Bride is also treated superficially ; indi- 
viduahsm predominates ; facts are isolated and never re- 
garded as connected in broad and varied epic action ; 
hence there are no conflicts between the heroes for the 
woman sought by both of them, and no plot arising there- 
from. In the Rivalry for the Bride between Vainamoinen 
and Ilmarinen there is not the faintest trace of rivalry or 
of strife; from the first to the last they are and they 
remain good friends. 

Narrative songs of this kind should be included among 
the poems of adventure ; but their national character and 
the national theme they treat give to their heroic types 
an impress which is purely Finnic and akin to the myth 
and the poetry of the magic runes. Castren ^ believes that 
they preserve the remembrance of an ancient, national 
custom : the ancient usage, common among the Ugro- 
Finns, of seeking the bride in a tribe akin, but different 
and hostile ; and of either obtaining her for a gift, 
according to request, or of carrying her off by force. 
Although this does not fit all cases of the Demand for the 

^ Finsk MythoL, p. 226 et seq. 



Bride (it is difficult, for example, to decide to what people 
the Maiden who sits on the rainbow may have belonged), 
and although these songs know but a very vague and 
indeterminate division of peoples, yet the idea of Pohjola, 
of the Maid of Pohjola, of the Lapps, does determine a 
difference of race ; and taken all in all the facts narrated 
support what Castren says. But this usage is common 
among so many primitive peoples that we can draw no 
conclusions from it. The Finns found it existing in 
Europe among peoples of other stock ; and the Rape of 
the Sabines celebrated in Latin sagas is simply an in- 
stance of this custom. Besides, this is a conception which 
naturally occurs in narrative of adventure and in the 
fantastic world of story ; and there is no reminiscence of 
social usage when the hero in a tale goes to demand or 
to carry off the daughter of the Sultan of Babylon. 
Historically national, however, in these songs, are the 
wedding usages poetically reproduced in the banquet 
of Paivola, or of Pohjola according to Lonnrot ; where 
the epic song, and especially this kind of epic song, 
enlivens the nuptial feast together with the wedding- 
songs, (Haarunot) hence opportunely introduced by 
Lonnrot into his poem, and with the magic songs on 

The other spring of heroic action, the Sampo, appears 
to have a higher aim, a more widely national significance .. 
The well-being of the nation seems to depend on getting 
possession of it ; and this gives to Lonnrot's composition 
the character of a lofty national epos. This Sampo, con- 
cerning which so much has been written and so many 
conjectures made, presents itself here opportunely at the 
end of our study of the Finnic myth, magic song and 
epos in their relation to each other. It shines, in fact, 
in the epos as the highest product of magic toil, in the 
same way as the heroes shine there as supreme ideals^ 
of the magician. What is the Sampo ? Krohn has well 


said that it is as difficult to explain as it was to make ; 
the number and variety of explanations, some very strange, 
that have been given of it, prove this clearly.^ We will 
set forth our idea concerning it, briefly following the 
method we have hitherto observed in expounding Finnic 
myth and poetical fancies. 

Sampo is certainly not a Finnic word. Foreign to 
•all other languages of this family, even to the Esthonian 
and the Lapp, it only appears in the runes, and even 
so only in the epic runes, never in the magic ones ; 
at least as far as these latter have been published. 
What it means, the singers themselves do not well 
know, as appears from the various, often strange 
explanations they give of it.^ In the runes it in- 
dicates an object whose nature and form are not well 
or firmly determined ; but whose efficacy is well defined. 
He who possesses it is fortunate and rich; for he has 
in it a fount of prosperity, a fcepa<i ^AfiaXOeia'i which 

^ Lonnrot in the Mwgonblad of 1858 {Tre ord om och ur finska 
fornsangen) already mentions more than one, while he sets forth his 
own, that the Sampo symbolises the progress of humanity : an explana- 
tion which explains nothing, besides presupposing an amount oi philosophy 
of history such as the minds of the good laulajat could never contain. An 
exposition of the various opinions, of which it would be useless to give the 
•catalogue here, may be found in Donner's work, Dcr My thus vom Sampo 
{Acta societ. scient. fenn., torn, x., 1871), p. 137 et seq, Donner treats the 
•Sampo as a naturalistic myth, and finds in it the sun, as Schiefner does. 
In the same way Mannhardt finds the cloud, Schwarz and Caesar the 
rainbow and others probably other like things. More recently, the various 
opinions have been given also by Krohn {Stiorn. kirjall. hist., p. 414 et seq.), 
who concludes with his own : that name and thing result from two com- 
bined elements, the Scandinavian myth of the Grottemill, and the Finnic 
•one of Sampsa Pellervoinen, from whose first name Sampsa would come 

2 The variants often give no indication of what the Sampo was ; they 
•only mention its effects. Some of them speak of it as of a mill, or of a 
kirjokansi (variegated cover) as does the Kalevala. The singers most 
generally adopt the mill as their explanation, but sometimes call it a bird, 
a ship, a marital gift (domestic chest), a girl ; vid. Krohn, op. cit., p. 417 et 
seq. ; Aspelin, Kalevalan tutkim., p. 135. 


secures him abundance of things. Exactly what this thing 
is, is not clearly stated ; and in what is said about it we 
feel the use of a passing image not consistently main- 
tained : and this certainly not because the memory of it 
has been lost, but because the mythic idea, imperfectly 
formed, has remained in that state of indeterminateness- 
so often observable in Finnic myth. It is a variegated 
cover (kirjokansi), or a coffer or precious casket, a pyxis. 
having an effect different from that of Pandora or of the 
Finnic goddess of sicknesses ; ^ an automatic mill that 
perennially grinds out victuals like the Grottemill in the 
songs of the Edda (Grottesongr) and as in the fantastic 
tales of other peoples.^ But its form is so indifferent that 
when it is broken each piece acts with the power of the 
whole thing : hence, as Castren well observes, it seems a 
talisman. To sum up, it is the idea of well-being and of 
wealth made concrete in a fantastic object which perenni-^ 
ally produces these things. It can only be the art of 
magic ; of a magician, however, who is not simply a laulaja 

^In the magic songs for illness, Kiputytto, goddess of illnesses, is. 
sometimes represented as holding in her hand or under her arm a many- 
coloured casket, a variegated cover {Kirja vackanen kddessd, Kirja kansi 
kainalossa), in which the illnesses are shut. Cf. Lencqvist, De superst.. 
Fenn., § v., p. 52. The magic songs for the hunters of wild beasts pray 
Tapio to open his best coffer or chest, his variegated cover {Aukaise parahin 
arkku, Kirjokansi kimmahuta), that is his roomy aitta where he keeps his- 
wealth {vid. Lonnrot, Finskt- Svenskt Lex., s. v. Kirjokansi ; Krohn, Suom. 
kirjall. hist, p. 437). In this sense the Sampo is called kirjokansi in the: 
Archangel songs. It has nothing to do with the sky, which the runes 
often call kirjokansi {vid. sup., p. 215) ; although there may be an associa- 
tion of ideas in those songs which attribute the making of the Sampo to. 
Ilmarinen calling to mind that he also made the celestial kirjokansi. 

^ Cf. Grimm, Ueb. d. Finn. Epos [Klein Schr., ii.), p. 88 et seq. The: 
mill of King Frodi is, however, not automatic, but turned by two hearty 
lasses, Menja and Fenja. But the theme of the Wilnschehniihle is ancient, 
and common in German songs and tales ; it is, besides, ordinarily found 
among the various Wiinscheldinge of the popular fancy of every country i 
vid. Grimm, D. Mythol., p. 275 et seq. ; vid. also the Lithuanian story givert 
by Veckenstedt, Myth. Sag. Leg. d. Zamaiten, ii., p. 69. 


or tietdjd, like Vainamoinen, but a seppci or takoja, like 
Ilmarinen. This object figures also as a means, for the 
roan who may know how to make it, of obtaining a 
woman in reward ; nay, according to some singers, as the 
gift promised by the groom to the bride (Morgengabe). 
Here the secret evidently hes in the word,^ which signifies 
nothing beyond, and dispenses us from determining the 
■object : its primitive meaning expressed, without any 
doubt, not an object, but the special efficacy attributed to 
it. The fancy of the laulajat has treated this abstract idea 
as it has others, as it has those of nature,, creation etc. ; 
except that, instead of poetically concreting into a person 
the abstract idea expressed by the noun, it has here con- 
creted it into an object ; leaving it, however, as inde- 
terminate as are the figures of the Luonnotaret, of Kave, 
•etc., among personifications. The word, as might be ex- 
pected, is Scandinavian. In its earliest form it is samhiLh, 
a name it still bears in some Finnic localities ; ^ in it, hu 
has the value of the modern ho for other names of places, 
as, for ,example, Abo, Gyllebo, Gunnebo, etc. The word 
b'lLL is much used among ancient and modern Scandinavians 

^ The etymologies given up to the present time have made no way. 
■Grimm (Z>, Mythol.) and Castren had better have left their Thibetan and 
Mongolian words where they found them. The Russian samamol (grinding 
by itself) suggested by Schiefner had no better fate than the Russian 
samhog (God himself) of Lonnrot. Equally unlucky were the Norse stamp 
(pestle) proposed by Castren and the Oriental tavibur of Friis, who sees in 
the Sampo the magic drum. Donner has attempted a Finnic etymology, 
adducing a pretended root sap, which according to him would express the 
idea of round, of moving around (the sun) ; it is a root, however, not 
found in the ordinary words expressing these ideas (keha, piiri, kierto, 
pyord,, etc.). 

2 Sambu is the name of two villages and also of two water-courses ; a 
cascade is called of Sambu. Sampo is the name of a farm. Near Viborg 
there is an Isle of the Sampo (Sammonsaari). Sampa in a magic song 
means a castle or court. Vid. Krohn, op. cit., pp. 420, 374 ; he is, however, 
wrong in finding in all this the Sampo of the runes. The form Sampa 
may be equivalent to Sammakka, which means a frog ; vid. Varelius in 
Suomi, 1895, p. 9 et seq. 


(Swed., Dan., N. bo)} Its meaning is broad and complex. 
As anciently used it reflects the social form of a time when 
the family reigned supreme. It expresses the idea of the 
domestic establishment, not so much as seen in the society 
of a town as in rural estates ; and it also expresses the 
authority of him who possesses, holds or rules the 
establishment {bua, buandi, boiide, husbonde, Eng. husbajid, 
etc.) ; as it expresses, too, in part the things, possessions, 
resources of life, provisions, cattle (Swed. boskajo), etc., that 
it contains. To set up house or make oneself a similar 
domestic establishment is to])ut together bu {setja bnuu saman). 
In like manner we have the verb bua, bua saman, to keep 
a house of one's own, or also to form a family through 
matrimony : a cohabitation which in the compound 
sambiidh comes to mean carnal intercourse. 

All these meanings of bu or bo (which, since there is no 
b in Finnic, necessarily becomes in that language po), with 
the addition of the idea of things held in common {sam), are 
found in the Sampo of the Finnic runes, whose meaning is 
defined by its efficacy. It is the ideal of the common re- 
sources of the family in a society as simple and primitive 
as is that of the ancient and in part also of the modern 
Finns, and as is that of the epic runes ; hence it expresses 
also the common good and possessions of a whole social 
group, and almost translates the English commonwealth in 
its original sense. Where it is, cultivation prospers, 
** there men plough, there men sow, there all things 

^Tlie most complete exposition of the use of this word is given by 
Fritzner in the new edition of his Ordbog over det gamle norske Sprog, s. v. 
bu, biia, vid. there numerous examples of place-names with this ending ; 
and on the latter see also N. M. Petersen, Samlede Afhandlinger, i., p. 168. 
It indicates first of all a single domestic establishment (now gdrd), which, 
growing larger, became a village (Swed. by) or also a city (Dan., Norw. by). 
In these words the idea of the family is dominant, of domestic life, work 
and economy; the words gardhr, gdrd, garten, Slav. Grad, gorod, etc., spring 
but from the idea of a circumscribed place, an enclosure ; but here too the 
original idea is only that of domestic unity. 


grow " (Tdnne kynto^ Tdnne kylvo, Tdnne kasvo kaikcnlainen)^ 
It is also spoken of as having roots, so that the plough 
had to be used to get it up (Kalevala, xlii., 1. 143 et seq.). 
Perhaps the first name Sampsa given to Pellervoinen 
(from peltOy field, Germ, feld), god of agriculture, the 
Triptolemus of the Finns, may really be placed in rela- 
tion with the Sampo ; ^ it is certainly to be expected that 
the good Sampo (hyvd Sampo) should be personified. And 
the Sampo runes were sung at the spring and autumn 
seed-time, as is still the custom in some places.^ All this- 
agrees with the Germanic word we have mentioned, which 
also expresses cultivation {hilandi, mod. bonde, peasant), as 
do most modern Germanic words derived from it (Germ. 
bauen, bauer, landbaUj etc.). The clearest and most intel- 
ligible definition of the Sampo given by the runes and by 
the explanations of the singers is that which describes it 
as a mill formed of three automatically moving mill- 
stones, one of which constantly ground out flour, another 
salt, the third money. We may recognise in the salt and 
flour the symbol of household food, a symbol which the 
Finns found ready formed among the Eussians, who in 
the offering of bread (hlieb) and salt (sol) symbolise the 
domestic penus {Penates) and also find a name for hospit- 
able reception {hliebosolsivo, hospitality). Other variants 
say that the mill gave eatables, things to sell, and domes- 
tic stores. In the Ilomants variants Sampo is the boat in 

^ Krohn, Suoin. kirj. hist., p. 420 et seq. Not, however, in the way- 
he thinks ; for Sampo is not a reduction from Sampsa but vice versd. He 
himself gives a song in which Sampo and Pellervo figure in two parallel 
lines as equivalent names (Kuin on Sampo siemenia, Pellervo jyvUn periti)^ 
Sampo has suggested Sampsa, which by itself is Samson. In the variants 
of the first name, Sampura, Sampurainen, which occurs in a few songa 
(Krohn, op. cit., p. 198), we clearly see the Germanic word with the ending 
(-r,- ri, -re) of the nomen agentis. Further removed, and in any case not ap- 
plicable to the Sampo in the whole extent of its meaning, is the Zembarys 
or Zemberys, god of the productive land among the Lithuanians, from z^m~ 
beti (O. SI. zembati), to germinate. 

" E.g., in Vuokkiniemi. Vid. Krohn, op. cit., p. 42. 


which Vainamoinen carries off " the cattle, the stores, the 
means of sustenance of the lady of Pohjola ". And, finally, 
the biia saman or sambudh, in the conjugal sense, also 
occurs, since the maiden of Pohjola is given in the Kale- 
vala to the man who makes the Sampo, and the Sampo is 
said, by some singers, to have been the marriage-gift or 
Morgengahe} In the songs of Archangel it is almost 
always said that Ilmarinen (or Vainamoinen) made the 
Sampo by day, by night caressed (propitiated) the 

This poetry is not marked by a profound symbolism, 
either in the myth or in the poetic idea. When the Finns 
adopt into their poetry an abstract idea already worked 
out by another people, expressing it by a foreign word, 
they easily translate it into personifications and images ; 
which, however, betray its meaning by their variability 
and indeterminateness. All the description of the making 
of the Sampo given in the Kalevala, in which we seem to 
recognise an idea expressed through symbols, is a mosaic 
put together by Lonnrot. It is he who has introduced 
the idea, thus expressed, developing it with a systematic 
consistency (bow the chase, boat sailing, cow pastoral art, 
plough-share agriculture, Sampo everything good) which we 
can understand as existing in his own mind, never in that 
of a laulaja} 

^ A singer of Russian Carelia told Borenius that the kirjokansi 
(variegated cover or box) v?as given to the bride as the husband's gift 
(pridoanoiksi), expressing by this Russian word pridanoc what the Finns, 
translating the Swedish morgongdfva, Germ. Morgengahe, call htiomen- 
''ahja. Vid. Aspelin, Kalevalan tutkimuksia, p. 136. In other songs a 
household box or coffer is mentioned {kotoinen Upas) as huwnenlahja ; 
Aspelin, op. ciL, p. 134 ; Krohn, Valvoja, 1883, p. 467. Cf. what we have 
said above of the Sampo called kirjokansi. 

^ " Paivat Sampoa takovi, Yot neitta lepyttelevi." Thus in the song 
we have given in this work, pp. 1-240 et seq., and in several others. 

^ Lonnrot also gives a symbolic meaning to the objects from which 
the Sampo is to be made. These are : the top of a swan's feather, the 
milk of a sterile cow, a grain of barley, a lock of sheep's wool, according 



Is there any hint at a real or historical fact at the bot- 
tom of this most important adventure of the Finnic epos, 
the Bape of the Sampo ? Is there a rivalry in wealth, pre- 
sent or past, between the Finns and Lapps? There is 
certainly none. The Finns at present despise the Lapps 
as barbarous or savage.^ Wealth could never have been 
attributed to the Lapp, the lean lad {laiha poika), either by 
himself or by any one else ; the mere thought of it makes 
any one who knows what the Lapps are, smile. The 
Finns consider them as rich in nothing but magic ; al- 
though their reindeer or furs may have been an incitement 
to predatory raids which are still remembered by them.^ 
It is true, as we have already said, that Pohjola in the 
magic songs appears as the harbourer of those animals 
from which the ancient Finns principally obtained furs 
(raha, fur, money) ; but there was never any competition 
between the Lapps and Finns in this trade, nor is any trace 
of such competition found either in the name or the con- 
tents of the Sampo myth ; as must have been wrongly 

to the Kalevala, vii., 1. 311, with some variants in the popular runes. 
Lonnrot would make them allude to the hunt, pastoral art, agriculture, 
industry ; a manner of symbolism inconceivable in the minds of the laula- 
jat. We might suggest a meaning allusive to the efficacy of the Sampo 
according to the explanation we have given of it, and with its function as 
described in the songs themselves. But Krohn is right when he says 
{Stwrn. kirjall. hist., p. 415) that these elements should not be taken more 
seriously than they are in the songs themselves, where they are regarded 
of but little consequence ; or than the splinters of the spindle should be, 
with which Vainamoinen is to build the boat {Kalev., viii., 1. 123 et seq.) ; 
whereas he makes it as he likes. 

^ Lappi means also savage; e.g., Swed., Vilmanstraiid ; Finn., Lap- 
peenranta ; Pohjan tavat (northern, that is Lapp, customs) is the same as 
barbarous savage customs. Vid. Gastrin, Ch7i betydelse of ordet Lapp, 
in Siurnii, i., 1841. 

2 Gastrin, Nord. Resor. o. Forskn., i., p. 16 et seq. ; cf. also Scheffer, 
Lapponia, p. 51 et seq. ; Hogstrom, Beschr. Lapplands, p. 65. The ricJies 
of which the Lapps speak must be taken in a very relative sense. The 
raiders are Carelians, but under this name the Finns included also the 


supposed by those who have compared the myth with that 
of the Golden Fleece of the Argonauts.^ It is certain that 
the Finns, although they sometimes harassed the neigh- 
bouring, peaceful Lapps by raids into their country, could 
not hope to obtain from them the wealth they could get 
by inroads, less easy to make, it is true, into the territory 
of other neighbours. They molested the Scandinavians 
by their incursions, having learned the art (which they 
originally did not possess) from the Vikings themselves, 
and this was the reason or pretence which induced Erik 
i the Holy to subdue and convert them.^ Neither did they 
[€ver get from the Lapps such booty as they must have 
^carried off, when, for instance, in 1187 a considerable 
Carelian fleet set out against Sweden, destroyed the city 
of Sigtuna, killed the Bishop of Upsala, and returned with 
rich spoil. Now, while facts of this kind left no echo in 
the epos and in traditional poetry, I do not see what 
manner of criticism can concede the existence in them of 
a rivalry in wealth with the wretched Lapps. If ever, as 
for instance in the magic songs for offerings or sacrifices,^ 
rich booty taken in war is spoken of, it comes from 
Sweden, Russia, Germany, Denmark. Besides, if the 
Finns boasted of anything, it was certainly not of pros- 
perity and wealth ; which are truly not characteristic of 
them. Popular songs speak with affectionate sadness of 
(the wretched northern fatherland (poloinen Pohjan maa) ; 

^ Alcenius, in Donner's work, Der Mythus v. Sampo, p. 155. It is true 
that, in presence of the adventure of the Sampo, one's thoughts revert to 
the Argonauts, the Rape of the Palladium, the Grail, and such like ex- 
peditions. But (we speak of course of chance resemblances) the story of 
the Sampo comes nearer to the Latin legends of the transport of the 

2 Yrio Koskinen, Finnische Oeschichte, p. 27 et seq. On the raids of 
the Finns, and also on the trade between the Finns and Lapps, vid. As- 
pelin, Suomen asukkaat pakanuuden aikana {The Inhabitants of Finland 
in Pagan Times), pp. 81 et seq., 85 et seq. 

^ Loitsurim., p. 251 et seq. 


and literary men hold the same language, from the first 
writer in the Finnic tongue, the Bishop Agricola, who says 
(1561) " we are very poor " {me olemme koyhdt sangen), down 
to Buneberg, who in his noble hymn to his fatherland 
calls it poor {vart land ctr fattigt) but not less dear to its 

The Sampo represents, then, nothing real : it is an 
ideal of prosperity, longed for but nothing more ; not, 
however, so much of individual as of social prosperity; 
and in this it excels the theme, smaller but similar, which 
is met with in the popular tales of the type of the German 
Tischchen decke Dich, The very etymology of the word, as 
we have given it, leads to a less puerile, a higher idea, to 
the social idea of the family with its possessions and their 
agricultural sources. 

The fact that the Sampo was in the hands of the sons 
of Kaleva, readily suggests, after Lonnrot's work, the idea 
of a national meaning.^ But we have seen how little 
support this idea finds in songs which are in no way 
inspired by a historical sentiment. The land of the 
Kalevala is indeterminate, and its heroes represent 
nothing national unless it be ancient shamanism ; so 
that there is no connection between the latter and the 
Sampo which they carry off, except that this also is de- 
fined as a product of magic and as having a magic action. 
So far, there is a connection ; in this sense the Sampo 
may be called a national object ; and thus it is also con- 
nected with the origins of the epos whose roots we found 
in the magic songs. But it appears, at least as we see it 
now in existing songs, rather as an ulterior development 
than as a direct and immediate product of the magic 

^ The lines of canto xliii., 885 et seq., which tell of the fragments of the 
Sampo collected by Vainamoinen and sowed in the earth, and of Vaina- 
moinen's prayer, are a composition of Lonnrot's from popular verses 
which have nothing to do with the Sampo. Vid. Krohn, Stwnial. kirjalL 
hist., p. 412. 


poetry which had become epic song. This marvellous 
object, which seems in the Kalevala to be of such im- 
portance as to form the culminating point in its action, 
holds a singularly solitary place in the runes. The magic 
and lyric runes know it not ; of the epic runes com- 
paratively few mention it — those, namely, that treat of it 
exclusively, telHng the story of its rape. The singers of 
Archangel add the account of its making and of the bride 
promised in reward, but this is quite unknown to the 
singers of the Finnic parts. The other epic runes neither 
mention it nor allude to it indirectly : one hears nothing 
of its efficacy even in the runes sung at weddings, at the 
great marriage feast, in which, among such abundance, 
we should expect to find the miraculous fount of victuals 
in action. The Sampo is certainly not the key to the 
pretended unity of the epic runes ; the hallucination 
which would make it appear such, disappears after a very 
Small analysis of Lonnrot's poem. It is a mythic forma- 
tion which, like many others, has remained without any 
action that can be narrated. It may lay claim to some 
antiquity though no trace of it is found in surviving 
magic songs. Certainly the known songs of the Sampo 
are not among the most ancient : that of its making is 
not, as Krohn has well shown ; and that of its rape, how- 
ever widely it is now diffused through Finland proper, is 
later than others, of which it betrays the influence. If 
we call to mind what has been said of the two different 
currents of poetical ideas that led the tietdjat to create the 
mythic regions of Pohjola and of Paivdla or Saari, it will 
be clear that the Sampo, answering to an idea of happiness 
and prosperity, should be connected, not with gloomy 
Pohjola, but with Paivola or Saari, the Land of Cockaigne 
and of weddings : the island of Saari should be its abode, 
as in the Eussian magic formulas the miraculous stone 
Alatyr is placed in the island of Bujan. This never 
happens in the runes, but the singers of Archangel 


understood it, and attributed the construction of the 
Sampo to a man of Kaleva, not of Pohjola, placing it in 
connection with the Demand for a Bride. But we have 
already said that, especially in the passage of magic to 
purely epic songs, an evolution takes place by which the 
idea of Pohjola is modified ; and, while still preserving 
decided traces of its original malignant and hostile char- 
acter, becomes confused with the idea of Paivola or Saari. 
This occurs especially in the incident of the Demand for a 
Bride. In Lonnrot's Kalevala, Pohjola appears where 
the runes more generally place Paivola and Saari ; and 
that not only in the case of Lemminkainen but also of 
Ilmarinen's Demand for a Bride. It is, however, true 
that the beautiful maiden of Saari, wooed by many men, 
often becomes in the runes, as in the Kalevala, the 
beautiful maiden of Pohjola, spoken of in the magic songs. 
Only as a result of this evolution could the Sampo be 
placed in Pohjola ; and only after the idea of the Demand 
for or even of the Bape of the Bride from Pohjola had be- 
come fixed, could the idea of the Demand for and of the 
Bape of the Sampo from that country be elaborated. 

There are, at least in the Kalevala^ a few particulars 
of the Bape of the Sampo that find a parallel in par- 
ticulars of the song, of very different origin, which narrates 
the Liberation of the Sun and of the Moon, but they are the 
customary formulas that serve several ends in poetry and 
in fantastic, popular creations. This myth, clearly natural- 
istic in its meaning, not Finnic in its origin, but in its 
essential common among Indo-Europeans, has nothing to 
do with the Sampo, which is certainly not the sun, as 
Donner and others have thought.^ 

^ Vid. what Krohn justly says about it, Suom. kirjall. hist., p. 482 et 




Feom the preceding analysis we see clearly how the 
shamanic idea informs the myth and epos of this people ; 
is in fact the root of them. But although the Finns were 
originally shamanists, as other related peoples were and 
still are, yet they had very little in common with these 
peoples in the way of myth. It is evident that when they 
came into Europe they brought with them very few ideas 
of this kind. In this respect our inquiries lead us to 
results that are quite in harmony with those of the 
scholars who from an examination of their language 
have deduced the origin of their culture and their primi- 
tive conditions. 

From the researches of Dietrich/ of Thomsen,^ and 
above all of Ahlqvist,^ it results that development and civil 
progress took place among the Finns after they had come 
in contact with Germanic, Lithu-Slav and Slav peoples, 
the greatest influence being exerted by the first of these, 
who have left profound and ancient traces on the Finnic 
language. After eliminating all civil elements of foreign 
origin, Ahlqvist finds that the most ancient social and civil 

^ Zeugnisse eines vorhistor. Standes d. schwedischen u. einer go- 
thischen Gestalt des altnordischen aus dem Lappischen u. Finnischen, 
in Hoeffer's Zeitschr. /. d. Wiss. d. Spr., iii. (1857), p. 32 et seq. 

^ Ueber d. Einfluss d. german. Sprachen auf die Fintdsch-Lappischen, 
Halle, 1870. 

^ Die Culturworter der westfinnischen Sprachen ; ein Beitrag zu der 
alteren CuUur-geschichte der Finnen, Helsingfors, 1875. Cf. Retzius, 
Finska Kranier, p. 17 et seq. 


condition of the Finns was as simple and rudimentary as 
that which actually exists, and which he has studied and 
described,^ among some Ugro-Finnic peoples such as the 
Ostyaks and Voguls ; - and, with the exception of a few 
particulars on which discussion may be raised, Ahlqvist's 
conclusions are generally just. The same may be said of 
the myth, of the epos and their poetry : he who should 
seek among them remains of primitive Ugro-Finnic con- 
ceptions, or connections with such mythic ideas as are still 
found among kindred peoples, would be pursuing a chi- 
mera. All that we can say about their myth, whether 
it be more ancient or less so, is posterior to their con- 
tact with the peoples of Europe ; the etymology we have 
given of so many mythic names and the genesis we have 
expounded of so many fantastic ideas, prove this clearly. 
There was originally as great a scarcity of myth and of 
mythic names among them as there is among the Yoguls 
and Ostyaks. The personification of nature was rudi- 
mentary ; the names simple appellatives, containing and 
transmitting no mythic idea. Thus, although the Vogul 
in, which means sky, is identical with the Finnic il (ma), 
which means air, yet the Vogul Inmar is by no means 
identical with the Finnic Ihnari ; neither, as we have 
seen, can we think of a transmission of the name. There 
was among the Finns, as among peoples akin to them, 
a vague idea of spirits, and especially of the action of the 
spirits of the dead ; they had, too, in common with other 
peoples, a personification (Jumala) of the sky or of its 
action (thunder). The shaman, who was supposed to domi- 
nate the beings of nature and spirits, acted, it is true, 
through his word, but this was still a simple word or sana, 
not laulu or song. The poetry of the magic songs, that 
poetry which generated and moulded the myth and the 
epos after its own nature, developed and brought forth 

' Unter Wogulen und Ostjaken, Helsingf., 1883. 
2 Die CuUurworter, etc. , p. 264 et seq. 

THE KUNE. 265 

only after its contact with neighbouring and diverse Euro- 
pean peoples. 

The same influences which gave rise to the develop- 
ment of poetry and of myth caused among the Finns a 
considerable evolution in the religious idea, even before 
they adopted Christianity. They must have had infor- 
mation of the latter or of Christian ideas from the peoples 
who had been converted before them, beginning with the 
Goths ; and besides they must have known the pagan idea 
and worship of the ancient Scandinavians, Lithuanians 
and Slavs, from whom they learnt so many other things 
with their names. This is clearly proved by our ex- 
position of their myth, and would be seen still more 
plainly were we to compare them from this point of view 
with their neighbours and kinsfolk the Lapps, who have 
very little myth or poetry of their own. If the Biarms,^ 
of whom the Scandinavian sagas speak so often, were 
identical with the Finns of the Kalevala, and if we could 
take seriously the tales of their sagas, we should have to 
believe that the Finns already made considerable progress 
in the time of their paganism, both from a religious and 
from a social and civil point of view : for there would 
have existed among them a rich temple w^ith a seated 
statue of the god Jumula; and, far higher than the 
domestic kota and the pirtti, far higher than the kyla or 
village, there would have been already formed the kau- 
ptmki or city ; while, above the master and the mistress, 
the isdntd or the emdntd would already be the king or 
kuningas. But although the histories of Finland open at 
the present time with the record of these Biarms defined 
by several scholars as Carelians,^ who flourished, in that 
region of the Dvina where is now the government of 
Archangel, until they were defeated and all trace of them 

1 We may here call to mind what has been said and quoted con- 
^cerning the Biarms in the first chapter of the present work, on p. 58. 
'^ Ahlqvist, Kalevalan Karjalaisuus, p. 7 et seq. 


was lost after the beginning of the thirteenth century, 
yet the traditional poetry of the Finns preserves not the 
least remembrance of them and of their splendour ; so that 
we should know nothing whatever about them were it 
not for Scandinavian sagas and Russian chronicles. The 
name is of Httle importance, for while the Scandinavians 
call them Biarms (who would be Permians), the Russians- 
call them Chudes {Savoloceskya Cud). And these were cer- 
tainly not the names they gave themselves ; just as the 
Finns do not call themselves Finns, nor the Lapps, 
Lapps. But their deeds, their struggles with Scandi- 
navian, Russian, Bulgarian invaders and robbers, their 
trade, their cities, their wealth, their temple and their 
solemn worship of the god Jumula : how is it that none 
of these things has left its trace in the traditional epos of 
the Finns; that this latter knows nothing of kings, of 
cities, of trade, of the conflicts of peoples, of priests, of 
temples, of divine images ? How can a civilisation of this 
kind, of which the most ancient notices date from the 
times of King Alfred of England, that is, the ninth cen- 
tury (Other), and continue down to the time in which, 
having been conquered and converted, the Finns enter on 
their historical period (twelfth century), have been alto- 
gether ignored in the national epos ; an epos, too, whose 
production dates from pagan times and continues down 
to our days through the oral transmission not of dead 
poetry but of poetry living and generative? This is in 
flagrant contradiction with the natural laws of epic pro- 
duction ; which need not necessarily exist, as is the case 
even among many peoples of considerable historical 
activity, but which, if it does exist, cannot avoid reflect- 
ing in itself the most important facts and the fundamental 
conditions of national life. And the epic movement, once 
begun, never stops at the record of one fact only, but 
continues to invest one incident after another with a 
perennial succession of poetic forms : the stories of the 

THE EUNE. 267 

Scandinavian saga, of the Russian bylin, of the Servian 
pesma, of which the motive is essentially historical, are^ 
among others, examples ready to hand. 

Such Finnic scholars, therefore, as, hke Ahlqvist^ 
maintain that the Biarms were Carelians, the Carelian 
authors of the traditional runes, and also maintain that 
the epic runes in the Kalevala are based on a historical 
motive, do not observe v^hat a strange, nay absurd ano- 
maly they w^ho v^ould define this kind of poetic pro- 
duction and its natural laws propose to the student of the. 
national epos of various peoples. We must either beheve 
that if the Biarms were a Finnic stock (and this cannot, 
be denied) they were not the Finns of the Kalevala, in 
which we find represented a social condition by no meana- 
in accordance with that of the Biarms, but altogether in 
harmony with the known antecedents of the Finns and 
the Lapps ; or else we must define the Finnic epos and 
its national origin in quite a peculiar manner. Our 
preceding researches have already firmly established this 
last case, whatever may be thought of the first ; and on 
this we have already given our opinion,^ for we have seen 
that the Finnic epos knows not a historic motive, but. 
has its roots in the magic song and ancient shamanism 
of the people. 

Of a truth, these epic songs give, as we have said, 
rather the picture of the fantastic world of story-books> 
than of a real world ; nor, because they make no mention 
of certain things, must we imagine that these things did 
not exist. Thus, though they may have had no temples,. 
they certainly had sacred places, such as woods and lakes, 
springs, trees, etc., and also rough idols like the Lapps, 
and other shamanists.^ Priests properly so called they 
probably had not, for worship among peoples of their 
condition is in the hands of the fathers of families, and 

^ Vid, sup., p. 58. 2 Vid. Castren, Finsk Mythol., p. 198 et seq. 


the shaman ^ acts for the community ; but they certainly 
had sacrifices ; and their usages still bear a trace of them, 
although the word expressing them is of foreign origin 
(zihri, Esth. ohver, Lapp oaffer=Swed. offer). '^ They also 
had, and still have, festivals, chiefly agricultural, for 
various occasions and times of the year ; and although 
these are now confused with Christian festivals, their 
names and their rites continue to prove their ancient, 
pagan origin. Such is the festival at the beginning of 
the year (in November), or Vuoden alkajaiset, in honour 
•of Ukko the supreme god and of the spirits of the dead 
(whence its other name Henkien pdivdt, days or festivals 
of the spirits) to ensure a fortunate year ; such the festi- 
val of Kekri (now confused with All Saints' Day) of an 
agricultural or pastoral character ; such the feast of 
Ukko's Bushels (Ukon vakat) at the spring sowing, etc.^ 
But in all this there is a marked lack of correspondence 
with the usages of kindred sbamanic peoples, and a very 
considerable correspondence with the paganism of the 
nearest European peoples. If what the Scandinavian 
:sagas relate were true, of the temple of the Biarms with 
its sacred enclosure, its statue of the god Jumula seated, 
having in his lap an enormous bowl to receive offerings in 
money and wearing a rich necklace, etc., we should have 
to believe that this people had raised itself from rude 
shamanism to a higher and nobler polytheistic cult like 
that of the Scandinavians themselves ; and this would be 
too much for the Finns of the Kalevala, if such indeed 
w^ere the Biarms, whatever those may think who believe 

^ Vid. Rein, De sacerdotibus ethnicis veterum Fennorum, Helsingfors, 
1844. Cf. Krohn, Berattelser urfinska Historien, I, p. 84. 

2 Ahlqvist, D. Culturw., p. 247. The word verha has according to 
Neovius [Kalevalan kotiperUstH, p. 25) the meaning of sacrifice in southern 
■Carelia ; but in this word too we may trace the Swed. {o)ffer. 

^ Vid. Salmelainen, Muinois-Suomalaisten jfy^fiista inenoista [On tlie 
Sacred Usages of tlie Ancient Finns), in Siurmi, 1882, p. 125 et seq. ; Krohn, 
Berattelser urfinska Historien, i., p. 76 et seq. 

THE RUNE. 269 

these latter to have been really Carelians.^ But if we 
must take the Scandinavian sagas with the proverbial 
grain of salt even when they tell of the ancient pagan 
worship and temples of their own land,^ much more must 
we do so when they tell of a country so remote as is that 
of the Biarms. More likely and credible are the indica- 
tions of a refinement in the worship and the religious^ 
usages of the Esthonians. A principal image ^ of the 
supreme god Taara is spoken of, as well as altars, priests, 
and even a special priest of the god of thunder or Taara- 
himself ; and we have even the form of prayer (in prose) 
which the priest pronounced in imploring a fertile year> 
Here, as we have already shown, we may evidently trace 
the more immediate and continuous influence, not only of 
Germanic peoples, but also and above all of the Baltic 
Slavs, who had priests and temples and remained pagans 
down to the fourteenth century : the temple of Perkunas 
was still in existence at Vilna in 1387, when it was 
replaced by the Christian cathedral. Festivals, too, cer- 
tainly of ancient custom dating from pagan times, show- 
both among the Finns and among the Esthonians the in- 
fluence of the Scandinavian and Lithu- Slavonic paganism 
on the Finnic. Thus although the cult of the spirits of 
the dead may be connected with the shamanic idea, yet 
the Henhien pdivdt we have just mentioned recall more 
nearly the ancient Scandinavian usage of celebrating, 
festivals in winter to propitiate the spirits of the dead 

1 Ahlqvist, Kalevalan Karjalaisuus, p. 36 et seq. 

2 Finn Magnusen, Foreldsningar ofver nordiska archdologien, Stockh., 
1822, and several others after him give notices of the sacred images and 
temples of the Scandinavians, collected in all good faith chiefly from 
the sagas. Vid., however, the criticisms of Vigfusson, Corpus poeticum 
boreale, i., p. 402 et seq. 

3 The name Tharapilla given by the chronicle of Henry the Lett is 
reducible, Castren thinks, to Taara-bild. Forel. i. Finsk MytJwL, p. 215. 

* Vid. Rosenplanter's Beitrage, v., p. 156 et seq. Cf. Kreutzwald u. 
Neus, Myth. u. mag. Lieder. d. Ehsten, p. 17 et seq. 


und procure favourable seasons from them {Alfa-blot, Disa- 
hloi)} Again, Agricola tells us that during the festival of 
the Bushels of Ukko the cup of Ukko was drained {Ukon 
malja), that is to say, men drank to the honour of the god ; 
and this recalls the ancient Scandinavian festivals in 
vi^hich the brimming bowl (full) was drained in honour of 
Woden, of Frey, of Bragi or of some other god (drekka 
Odhinsfidl, Freysfull, Bragaftdl, etc.).^ The very name of 
the feast of Kekri recalls the similar pagan festival Keky- 
ris of the ancient Prussians.^ The festivals for the 
tjapture of the bear, on the other hand, find their parallel 
rather among peoples akin to the Finns ; but the so-called 
"worship of the bear" (karhun j^cilvehis) has no real 
religious character; nor has it anything to do with the 
shamanic idea, although it may certainly be called super- 

There is no reason, then, to have recourse to the 
analysis of their myth and of their traditional poetry to 
prove that the Finns had already during the pagan period 
considerably modified their shamanism, approaching the 
paganism peculiar to those European peoples from whom 
their language had already taken so much of the vocabu- 

^ Vid. Vigfusson, Corpus poeticum boreale, i., p. 413 et seq. 

2 Vid. the places in the sagas quoted by Vigfusson, Corpus poeticum 
boreale, p. 404 et seq. 

3 Cf. Narbutt, Dzieje starozytne narodu litewskiego, Vilna, 1837-41, 
i., p. 306 ; HanuS, Die Wissenschaft d. slavischen Mythus, p. 225. On the 
feast of Kekri, now and formerly, {Kekrijuhla eniien ja nyt), vid. the 
notices contributed to the Joukahainen, x., 1887, p. 158 et seq., from 
the rich collection of notes on the popular usages of the Finns by the late 
Dr. Reinholm. Cf. also as a comparison with the Lithuanian or old 
Prussian festival, Krohn, in Suxmien kuvalehti {Illustrated Journal of 
Finland), 1880, p. 29. Thomsen in his new book {Beroringer mellem de 

Jinske og de baltiske Sprog), p. 147 et seq., expresses unjustifiable doubts as 
to this ancient Prussian festival, showing himself unacquainted with the 
notices referring to it. It is, however, a matter of argument whether the 
name has passed from the Lithuanians to the Finns or vice versd. Vid. 
sup., p. 178 note. 

THE RUNE. 271 

lary of culture. Coming back here, however, to our 
discussion of their myth and their poetry, we must say 
at once that the originaHty and independence of their 
thought was in no way injured by the influence that 
Scandinavian and other peoples exerted over them. The 
Finnic myth bears an impress all its own ; it is quite 
different from the Scandinavian myth. Not a single case 
occurs of the Finns having taken a myth bodily from 
their Scandinavian neighbours, or even having copied 
or modelled from them. As an example of this independ- 
ence we may refer to the comparison already made (p. 243) 
between the death of Balder and that of Lemminkainen. 
Other cases in point are furnished by the connection be- 
tween Ilmarinen and Volundr or Mimir, by Vainamoinen's 
descent into Hell as compared with that of Odin, by the 
idea of the nether world itself or Tuonela as compared 
with that of Niflheim, of the Luonnotaret as compared 
with the Norns, of the Sampo with the Grottemill, etc. 
The fact is that the Scandinavian myth, at least as we 
know it from both Eddas and from the sagas, stands on 
a far higher level of thought and of poetry than do the 
thought and the poetry of the laulajat. The latter knew 
nothing of it in the written forms under which it has 
come down to us ; they would not even have understood 
the songs included in the Edda, nor those of the period 
of the skalds. Knowledge of these myths could reach 
them only by means of oral and popular tradition, and 
even so they assimilated nothing but a few of the fantastic 
elements, never a whole narrative. The popular prose 
tale,^ the apologue, or the fable drawn from animal life,^ 

^ Cf. Schiefner, TJeher den Mythengehalt der jinn. Marchen, in the 
Melanges russes, ii., p. 602 ; Rudbek, Om Finnarnes Folkdikt i ohunden 
berattande Form., Helsingf., 1857, p. 41; more thoroughly Kaarle Krohn, 
Tutkimuksia suomalaisten kansansatujen alalia {Researches on the Popu- 
lar Tales of the Finns). 

2 Kaarle Krohn, Suomalaisa kansansatuja, I. Osa : Eldinsatuja (Popular 
Finnic Tales, part i., Tales about Animals), Helsingf., 1886. Vid. also the 


penetrated, filtered in among them from various sides ; 
but the poetic and the religious myth, the poetical heroic 
saga, did not take root among them, for it was inspired 
by religious and heroic ideals too far above theirs and 
too widely divergent from them. Of Vuotan or Odin, 
of Thor,^ of the other Aesir, of Sigurd, of Gunnar, of Helgi, 

book of the same author above quoted, partly translated, partly summarised 
(introduc.) in German by 0. Hackmann, Bar {Wolf) ti. Fiichs, eitie alt- 
nordische ThiervidrcJienkette v. K. Krohn, Helsingf., 1888. 

1 It is still doubtful whether, as some have thought, the name of the 
very popular Germanic god Thor may be traced in some of the Finnic, 
Esthonian and Lapp mythic names, especially as these names find also a 
possible parallel among the Voguls {tarom, god, sky) and Ostyaks {turum, 
torem, god of the sky, of the thunder). Vid. Gastrin, Finsk Mythol., p. 51 ; 
Friis, Lapp. Mythol., p. 65 et seq. ; Krohn, Index of Nantes in the Kalevala, 
1887, s. n, Tuuri; Neus, Ehstn. Volksl., p. 62 et seq.; Donner, Vergl. 
WOrterb. d. Finn. Ugr. Spr., 1., p. 127. For our own part we think that 
the following observations may be made on these names :— 

The nearest to the Germanic god is the Lapp Torat or Horagales (gales 
means old), who also possesses a hammer, Thor's distinguishing attribute. 

As to the Taara of the Esthonians, which is another name for Ukko 
(the old) or for Vana isa (the old father), I very much fear that it should 
be referred rather to the Slav, stary, old, than to Thor. 

With regard to the Finns, the name Tuuri, which but occasionally 
occurs in the runes, has certainly nothing to do with Thor, as Krohn 
would have. In the Kalevala it sometimes appears, as equivalent to Ukko 
(runes xv., 1. 427 ; xlvii., 11. 185, 188), sometimes as equivalent to Osmo 
or Kaleva (rune xlvii., 1. 219). In both cases it has the same value as 
suuri, great, and is derived from the N. stdr (pronounced stoor), great ; in 
this it is in accordance with the Norse etymology, given above (p. 210), of 
the name Osmo. The same etymology is found in Ttirilas, meaning a giant 
and a person greatly to be feared, maleficent ; it has nothing to do with 
Turso, which as we have seen is the Scandinavian Thurs ; but it is to be 
referred to st6r, great, as the Russian velikan, giant, is to veliki, great ; it 
recalls still more nearly, however, the Norse stdrilla, big, wicked fellow. 

Side by side with Tuuri, who as we have said has nothing to do with 
the Tursi, Turras, Turrisas registered by Ganander as god of war and 
connected by him and others with the Scandinavian Thor or Tyr, Agricola 
places a Tavastian god, " Turisas who gives victory in war ". It is surpris- 
ing to find a god of war among the Finns, a people so poor in personifica- 
tions of this kind and in martial songs. But this god of the Tavasts is 
certainly nothing but an echo of the Slavonic Mars, Turo, Turizza or 
Turissa, as Appendini calls him {Tur, Turrice). Cf. HanuS, Die Wissensch. 

THE EUNE. 273 

of the other heroes, there is no trace among them. They 
must have known of these gods and heroes, must even 
have seen the worship and the temples of the former ; 
but they looked on them as on alien property ; they never 
assimilated them. 

Some scholars have thought to find traces of an in- 
fluence greater than that we have here defined. This is 
a mistake. For example, it is said that the competition 
in song between Vainamoinen and Joukahainen {Kalevala, 
iii.) is identical with the challenge to a duel in wisdom 
between Odin and the giant Vafthrudnir in an Eddie 
song, the Vafthr'^dnismdl. Yet the Vafthrfidnismdl is in 
no sense of the word a popular poem. It is as full of learn- 
ing as a poem can be, and it is certain that no Finnic 
laulaja ever heard of it, and that, even having heard of it, 
he would never have understood it. The challenge to a 
combat of wits, of songs or of riddles, is a very frequent 
poetical theme in the popular tales of every country and 
every time. In the above-mentioned song of the Edda it 
serves as a pretext for the setting forth of learning, as 
also happens in the Hdvamdl and in the Gylfagynning . In 
the Finnic song, on the other hand, the theme only serves 
to show Vainamoinen's superiority to the Lapp in the art 
of magic. There is no display of learning ; Joukahainen 
alone says something which would claim to be learned, 
but his words are, as Vainamoinen defines them,^ babble 
(loru), childishness and empty boasting. Vainamoinen 
overcomes him by means of songs, whose effect is to sink 
his enemy into the earth, but of which we are not told the 
contents. It is therefore clear that the Finnic song has 

d. slav. Mythus, p. 1. This is, however, not the place to decide whether 
this Slavonic god has anything to do with the Germanic Thor or Tyr, 
as it has been supposed to have. 

1 " Lapsen tieto, naisen muisti," 1. 184 ; " jo loppuivat loruisi ? " 1. 21i. 
Joukahainen bears more resemblance to the dwarf Alwis in his similar 
strife with Thor in the Alwissmdl ; but even here the dwarf shows himself 
more truly Alwis (all-knowing) than Joukahainen. 



in common with the Vafthrudnismdl only the general 
theme, which, however, is of constant occurrence in songs 
and tales, whether popular or not. Neither does Vaina- 
moinen recall Odin, as Krohn would have it.^ It is by 
chance that in this many-sided god, presented by different 
times under different aspects, we find some features char- 
acteristic also of Vainamoinen. The two types and the 
roots of the two ideas are profoundly unlike. The same 
may be said of similar parallels drawn by Krohn and 
others, which need not detain us here. 

More essential, more clearly traceable, has been outside 
influence on the magic song ; on the poetry, that is, through 
which, as we have seen, the Finnic myth was formed and 
developed. The primitive shamanic idea evidently mated 
with the idea of magic and of secret wisdom proper to the 
neighbouring, especially Germanic, European peoples ; 
and from the union sprang the poetry which distinguishes 
the Finns from other shamanists. The hidden knowledge 
implied by the word runa took on a poetical form among 
them as among the peoples from whom, retaining its cur- 
rent meaning, they had adopted it. The shaman became 
a poet, and the word runa^ following a different road from 
that it had taken among the Norse, came to mean among 
the Finns first of all the poetic magic word, and then 
poetry in general. Another word meaning magic and also 

^ Krohn believes that he has found an identification of Vainamoinen 
with Odin {Suom. kirjall. hist., p. 237 et seq.) in the name of an island near 
the coast of Livonia called by the Esthonians Osmussaar, by the Swedes 
Odenso. But Osmo is really another name for Kaleva, and is never ap- 
plied to Vainamoinen except with a secondary meaning, in so far as he is 
a man of Kaleva, as we have seen above on p. 212 ; neither is this other 
name for Kaleva known, as far as I can make out, to the Esthonians. 
The Esthonian name of the island is probably a corruption of Odamussaar, 
isle of the bear, and may once have been Odensaar, with the same mean- 
ing. In the same way another name of a place in Esthonia, OdenpUh, 
has nothing to do with Odin, but means " head of the bear," as the old 
Russian chronicles translate it {MedvjeeSiagolova). Vid, Sjogren, Oesa/mm. 
Schr., i., p. 495. 

THE EUNE. 275 

secret, but independently of poetry, is taikka. Its first 
meaning is a prognostic, a token, hence divination, and by 
the usual affinity of the two ideas, magic, secret art, etc. 
This word has certainly nothing to do with the Russian 
taiti, to keep secret, as Lonnrot would have it {F. S. Lexik., 
s. V. taika), but is evidently the Gothic taikns} sign, token 
(Mod. Germ. Zeichen). We have also seen that kcote, lot, 
destiny and magic song, is probably of Germanic origin. 
Poppa, wizard, seer, is the Russian word pop, which means 
priest ; velho, magician, wizard, is the Russian volho with 
the same meaning. Noita, wizard, is a word they have in 
common with the Lapps {noaide), from whom, in fact, they 
probably drew it.^ Manaus, expressing the magic ban, is 
a Germanic word (0. H. G. manon, monere, A.-S. mania7i) 
used in the same sense.^ In luku, magic word, reading or 
song (Esthonian lugii, story, tale, song), we may recognise, 
in a different vocable, the association of the meanings in- 
herent in the Anglo-Saxon spellian, Engl, to spell, a spell ; 
in katso.a, to see, look, expressing also the sight of the 
seer and the magic charm, we may recognise the similar 
meaning of the Norse spd, sia (sjd)^ Kiro, imprecation, 

1 Thus also in Russian znahar, diviner, wizard, from znak, sign. The 
German Segen {Zaubersegen) comes from signum, signare ; but in a Chris- 
tian sense and without any idea of divination. In Finn, it is siunaus. 

2 This is Lonnrot's idea, Loitsurun., p. vi. The origin of the word is not 
explained either by the Lapp or the Finnic (c/. Friis, Lapp. Mythol., p. 1). 
Could it be referred to the Norse naudr (Mod. G. Not), which would describe 
the wizard as the constrainer, as in the Germ, expression Hollenzwang ? 

^ Cf. Grimm, D. Mythol., p. 1027 ; ih bernanian dih is the opening of 
an ancient German magic formula. 

■* Lonnrot, Loitsurun., p. vi. The Norse spdmadhr, spdkona, which 
means seer, man or woman, ends by meaning wizard, witch (Grimm, D. 
Mythol., p. 864). In the Edda (Sigrdrifumdl xi.) it is written : — 
Limrunar skaltu kunna 
ef thu vilt lonir vera 
oc kunna sar at sia. 
^' Runes of the branches must thou know if thou wouldst be a medicine- 
man and look at (heal) a wound." Here sia (sja) equals the Finnic katsoa. 
Ndkijd (from ndhdd, to see) is the man endowed with miraculous 
spiritual sight ; it translates the Swedish siare. 


kirota, to imprecate, is the Lithuanian kiro, keriic, kirti^ 
kereti, SI. ?a?*, ^aravati, to charm, to bewitch. Another 
name given to a wizard is kukkaromies, the man with the 
pocket or satchel ; and he is so called because he carries on 
him a pocket containing various objects necessary for his 
magic : the bones of a dead man, the bones of a bear's paw, 
the talons of an eagle, skeletons of frogs, skulls of serpents, 
flint (for lighting tinder), etc.^ In this respect the wizard 
does not differ much from the wizard of other European 
peoples, who also carries his little bag with various instru- 
ments, such as three-cornered nuts, pieces of loadstone, 
grains of incense, myrrh, cumin, iron filings, and all the 
rest. At the same time, he is wanting in the distinguish- 
ing characteristic of the shamanic wizard : he has not the 
magic drum, which occurs among the Lapps as it does 
among the Voguls, the Samoyedes, the Altaic peoples, etc. 
It is replaced in divination by the sieve used in various 
manners;'"^ but this does not hold the place in the functions 
of the tietdjd that the magic drum does in that of the sha- 
man in general, that the gobdas does in those of the Lapp 
noaide. The sieve is really independent of shamanism, 
of very ancient use in Europe (cf. the KoaKivoixavTeia of 
the Greeks) and of especially wide diffusion among the 
Germanic peoples {vid. Grimm, D. MythoL, p. 927 ct 

^ Lonnrot, Loitsurim., p. viii. 

2 Described by Lonnrot, Loitsurun., p. vii. et scq. Lencqvist, De 
superst. vet. Femior., p. 91. 

^ Another way of drawing lots is thus described by Lencqvist {o}). cit., 
p. 91 et seq.). "Ex assulis ligneis cultro elaboratis conficiebant pinnulas 
plures quibus insculpebant singulis suum signum vel characterem peculi- 
arem ; dein mussitabant carmen consuetum ; quo finito ex signo quod turn 
relinquebatur in manu conjectabant utrum felix futura esset venatio, aut 
piscatura, ubi reperiendum foret animal deperditum," etc. Here, too, we 
recognise an ancient Germanic usage described by Tacitus {Oerm., 10) : 
" Virgam frugiferse arbori decisam in surculos amputant eosque notis qui- 
busdam discretes super candidam vestem temere ac fortuito spargunt," 
etc. Cf. Grimm, D. Mythol., p. 329 et seq. 

THE RUNE. 277 

Doubtless the magic drum is not essential to the 
shamanic idea, which can quite well exist without it ; but 
it is an important and significant fact that the Finns not 
only do not possess it, but that no trace of its existence 
is found in their language, in their poetry, in their 
memories of the past ; so that Lonnrot goes so far as 
to deny that they have ever had it.^ This is all the more 
noteworthy because, leaving on one side kindred but far- 
off peoples, they were in continuous relations with the 
Lapps ; whose rivals they were, as the runes show us, 
precisely in the domain of magic. Now among the Lapps 
the magic drum was, until quite recently, so essential as 
to become, after their Christianisation, almost a symbol 
of the rehgion of their fathers, being even mentioned as 
such in more than one rude song ; ^ so essential that it is 
difficult to imagine a Lapp noaide without the magic 
drum or gobdas in his hands. The Finns, on the contrary, 
not only make no mention of the instrument in their own 
case, but do not even speak of it in connection with the 
Lapps. The magic and epic runes which speak so con- 
stantly of the wizards of Lapland or of Pohjola know 
nothing of it ; neither is the using it or not using it ever 
adduced as a distinction between the Lapp and the Finnic 
wizards. More than one scholar has, however, thought 
that he could observe some trace of the magic drum 
among the Finns, at least in Savolax, as late as the 
beginning of the last century •,^ and it is generally supposed 
that they must have had the instrument, but that it had 
fallen into disuse and had been forgotten. Nay, the 

1 Loitsurun., p. ix. 

2 Donner, Lieder der happen, pp. 29, 164. With regard to the song with 
which they accompanied the sacrifice, beating the magic drum or gobdas, 
vid. Setala, Lappische Lieder aus. d. xvii Jahrh., in the Journal de la 
SocUU Finno-Ougrienne, viii., pp. 121 et seq. 

^ Thus Gabr. Maxenius, De effectibus fascino-naturalibus, Abo, 1733. 
Cf. Krohn in Kirjall. kuukauslehti, n. 2, 1870, 


Norwegian scholar Friis^ has thought that the Finnic 
epos presents a solemn, poetical ideal record of it in the 
Sampo, which is nothing, according to him, but the magic 
drum {Samb — Tamb — Tambur). I do not understand how 
Friis can have reconciled the lofty and poetical ideahsa- 
tion of the drum with its fall into such complete desuetude 
and oblivion ; moreover, the Sampo, as we have seen, is 
something quite different. But if the Finns had the 
magic drum, as indeed is probable, they must long before 
their conversion to Christianity have relegated it to a 
secondary place, even if they did not abolish it ; so that, 
although it may still have been used in the art of divina- 
tion, it was nevertheless no longer identified with the ideal 
of the wizard or tietdjd, and was hence not mentioned in 
a poetical tradition which, springing from the magic song, 
was moulded in accordance with this ideal. As a matter 
of fact, the Finns out-distanced the Lapps in times long 
prior to the introduction of Christianity among them, in 
that development of the poetry of their magic and epic 
runes by which the shaman became essentially the tietdjd 
or wise man and laulaja or singer. The essence of his 
power was concentrated in his word, in his song, in his 
spiritual sight ; the more material instruments of divina- 
tion and of magic retired into the shade and were forgotten 
in a poetry which found its inspiration almost entirely in 
its own power ; and the hero of the epos became, in his 
being and in his action, a tietdjd or a laulaja, not an arpoja 
or one who consults the lots (a thing common enough in 
popular usage but finding small representation in this 
poetry), and still less a kukkaromies or man with the satchel 
like an ordinary, practical and prosaic wizard. To this 
ideal, in which the Finns feel their superiority, do the 

^ Lappish Mythologi, p. 47 et seq. Cf. id. in the Kirjall. kuukaiis- 
lehti, 1867, n. i., p. 7 ; Magazin f. d. lit. d. AusL, 1869, p. 263 et seq. ; 
Donner Der Mythus vom Sampo {Acta soc. scient. Fenn., vol. x.), p. 148 
et seq. 

THE RUNE. 279 

traditional runes also adapt the Lapp wizards, in accord- 
ance with those assimilations between hostile and rival 
peoples that are so common in the primitive epos. Hence, 
for the Lapps also, the use of the magic drum is forgotten ; 
although their use of it must have been well known to the 
Finns. The strife between Vainamoinen and Joukahainen 
is simply a strife of wisdom and of weighty songs. For 
the same reason the Finnic wizard acquires in the world of 
poetry a more lay character than the shaman of ancient 
times really had : he is separated from the material 
functions of his rehgion, for these play no part in the epos. 
The only function attributable to the shaman which can 
be called priestly is the greater or less part he takes in the 
sacrifice. This function is the exclusive duty of the Lapp 
noaide,^ and was doubtless, in pagan times, that also of 
the Finnic wizard. Popular usages still bear traces of 
ancient, pagan sacrifices ; although some of these, as for 
instance the offering of objects of gold or silver represented 
by minute particles scraped from them, are also found in 
the superstitious customs of neighbouring peoples.^ With 
such offerings or sacrifices is associated also the magic 
song,^ but it is noteworthy that the magic runes rarely 
speak of offering or sacrifice * and the epic runes never : 
in these the tietdjd or hero is perfectly lay in character, 
and neither priests nor sacrifices appear. Here also it is 
clear that the practical, historical fact has remained alien 
to this poetry. It is a poetry which has concentrated 
itself in the word and in the power of the word, acting 
through it alone, through it alone making its heroic ideals 
act, leaving on one side the more material means of the 
vow, the offering, the sacrifice. 

^ Friis, Lapp. MythoL, pp. 145-155. 

2 Thus in Sweden. Cf. Arndt, Reise durch Schweden, in., p. 15 et seq. ; 
Kreutzwald u. Neus, Myth. u. mag. Lieder d. Ehsten, p. 77. 

•* See below, p. 301. 

■* Loitsurun., p. 251 ; magic songs during sacrifice (uhritoimissa), 
especially to the divinities of the wood. 


The intimate history of this early poetry, of this 
Finnic rune in its origins and development, is obscure. 
And it must be so, for it is connected with the similar 
products of other nations ; products of whose ancient 
form we can know Httle or nothing, whose traces we can 
barely follow in recent popular tradition, for their char- 
acter is wholly popular, and they have been constantly 
shrouded in secrecy. The magic word abounds among 
the Slavs ; but it is greatly reduced, and in general, as 
among the Russians, is degraded into a characterless prose 
in which the traces, still dimly visible, of ancient mythic 
elements are hidden by an overgrowth of the supersti- 
tions of Byzantine Christianity. The Finnic wizards 
must certainly have known the Zagovori, the Zaklinanija 
of the Russians ; they may have used them, as, for 
example, in the personification of sicknesses (which for 
the most part are twelve^ in the Russian Zagovori, 
but sometimes nine^ as in the Finnic song),^ and in 
the marine origin attributed to them. But although 
the Russian wizard vaunts, as the Finn does, the power 
of his word, slovo moe krjepko, yet his arid prose, his 
formulas repeated without variation in a hundred different 
cases, must have seemed but poor stuff to the rufwja 
or poet-wizard of the Finns. For the latter has a far 
higher idea of the magic word ; and when he sees how 
it is, in some places, reduced to miserable prose,'^ he 
feels that the ancient wisdom of the tietdjdt is flickering 
and going out. On German magic we must pass a 

^ Vid. the collection of Zabylin, Russkij narod (Moscow, 1880), p. 358 
et seq. 

2 Cf. Grimm, D. MythoL, p. 966 (quoting Gotze, Buss. VolsksL, p. 
62, a book I have not by me). 

3 Kalevala, rune xlv. Loitsurun., p. 332 et seq. 

4 As it occurs among the Vepse. Vid. Ahlqvist, Book of Finnic 
Dialects (Stumialainen murteiskirja), p. 187 et seq., which gives several 
examples. Russian influence is at once felt in the opening formula : 
" Nousen blahoslovas," etc. 

THE EUNE. 281 

different judgment. It was so truly poetical that its 
poetry was reflected in the Norse myth, where divine 
wisdom has a magic character ; and the runa, the lj6d, the 
galdr are divine things, signs and songs whose knowledge 
distinguishes the wise men, the poet, the charmer, as it 
distinguishes Vodan, the omniscient god, the wise giant 
Vafthrudnir, the Valkyrie Sigrdrifa. 

Finnic magic songs that come from Germanic magic 
songs are not wanting. One of the most salient examples 
may be found in a song used when a horse has suffered 
a dislocation. Several variants of it, both Finnic and 
Esthonian, have been pubhshed.^ It is a narrative song. 
It relates how one Sunday Jesus and Mary were going 
•early to mass in a cart drawn by a beautiful horse, when 
the horse slipped on the stony road near a bridge and 
•dislocated its foot. Jesus alighted to tend the horse, to 
cure it of its ill, and He healed it by ordering that flesh 
should join to flesh, nerve to nerve, vein to vein, bone to 
bone. Here we find, within the narrative envelope, a 
magic formula^ of extremely ancient usage that occurs, 
as Kuhn has shown, also in India, in the Atharvaveda.^ 
With its narrative envelope it is found in Europe among 
the Germanic peoples from the eighth century onwards ; 
for the charm known under the title of Merseburger Gebet, 
which J. Grimm pubhshed and explained, is in reahty 
nothing but this story.* In the charm several Germanic 
■deities figure. The fact takes place while Phol and Vodan 
:are riding through the forest, and the supreme god Vodan 

1 Loitsurun., pp. 75 et seq., 213 et seq. Cf. Lencqvist, De superstit. vet. 
Fennor., p. 110 et seq. ; Kreutzwald u. Neus, Myth. u. mag. Lieder d. 
Ehsten, n. 26, p. 97 et seq. ; Donner in Suomi, 1866, p. 195 et seq., who 
on p. 199 et seq. gives three Finnic variants. 

2 The formula thus deprived of its envelope is introduced into the 
Kalevala, xv., 351 et seq., for the resurrection of Lemminkainen. 

3 Indische u. germanische Segenssprilche, in Zeitschr. f. vergl. Spi'ach- 
Jorsch., xiii., pp. 51 et seq., 151 et seq. 

* Kl. Schrift., ii., p. 1 et seq. ; D. Mythol., p. 1030. 


heals the horse. Traces of the ancient song containing 
the name of Odin are still to be found among the magic 
formulas of Sweden. It occurs more frequently, however, 
with the usual substitution of the Christian for the pagan 
idea in various countries : in Norway, in Denmark, in 
Scotland, in England, in the Orkneys, in Saxony ; ^ and 
the formula, without the narrative wrapping, is known 
also to the Russians.^ It is certain that the Finns and 
the Esthonians did not know this song in its Germanic, 
pagan form, but that they received it, already Christianised, 
from the Scandinavians. And this carries us back, as 
may be inferred from what we have said above, to the 
period of their CathoHcism, which has left abundant 
traces on the magic runes, beginning with the most 
ancient written one that is known : that discovered by 
Koskinen^ in a register of the year 1564, when, that is, 
Lutheranism was already flourishing in Finland. 

Of a truth, songs of this kind are not among the most 
ancient, neither do they best characterise the Finnic magic 
rune. Nevertheless the fact that the Finnic tietdjdt have 
assimilated them, and that not recently but some cen- 
turies ago, is not without its value ; it shows, too, that a 
road must have been opened for contacts and influences 
in times much more ancient than those to which the 
assimilation of these songs can date back. 

In addition to songs of this type and of this origin, 
there are others having the same purpose, in which the 
Christian idea does not appear, but which are dominated 
by the Finnic myth, the shamanic conception. The 
meaning of this tale with regard to magic action is in 
fact clear ; the narration of the miraculous cure performed 

^ Vid. Grimm and Kuhn, op. cit. ; and for other notices Bugge,. 
Studietc ilb. die. Entstehung d. 7iord. Oott. u. Heldensage, pp. 297-309, who 
thinks that the Phol of the Mersebnrger Gebct is Paulus. 

^ Vid. Buslaeff, IstoriZ. Ocerki, i., p. 250 et seq. 

^ Published by him in the Historiallinen Arkisto, i., p. 93 et seq. 

THE EUNE. 283: 

by Vodan or by .Jesus with the words above quoted means 
that their efficacy is attributed to the divine power. It is 
therefore equivalent to the In nomine Domini or In nomine 
Patris, etc., which prefaces Christian benediction or exor- 
cism and also many popular charm-formulas. The same 
formula with a like beginning is found, for instance, in 
Kussia for dislocations.^ The idea is very different in the 
magic runes of truly Finnic type. In them the shamanic 
principle is plainly visible : magic action is the product of 
the peculiar, superior energy of the wizard himself ; it is not 
in the narne of any one else but in his own proper name 
that he orders, commands, overawes the daemonic beings 
that animate and represent nature in all her parts. ^ This 
naturally stands in relation with the more or less lofty 
conception formed of the divine being. Man can assume 
a power of this kind, can deify himself to this degree,, 
where, as among the shamanists, there exists pure pandae- 
monism, nay animism, destitute of divinities properly so 
called, or having a very limited and vague idea of one or 
two supreme beings. Bat where, in addition to the dae- 
monic beings, there are one supreme god well and nobly 
defined and other divinities all with lofty attributes, man 
can assume this power only with regard to the circle of 
the lesser daemonic beings, and the permission, the ac- 
quiescence of the deity is latent in his mind even when 
not actually asked for in words. This is the reason why 
the Finnic magic song has survived down to the present 
day and flourishes in the midst of Christianity. Since its 
purpose is benevolent it surely cannot be displeasing tO' 
God, who loves His creatures and desires their good ^ — God 

^ It begins: Pristani Gospodi k dobrormt seniu djelu, Sviaty Petr i 
Pavel, etc. (Be present, Lord, at this good work, SS. Peter and Paul,, 

^ This distinction is well formulated by Kreutzwald, Myth. u. mag^ 
Lied. d. Ehst., p. 5 et seq. 

^ Vid., e.g., the song quoted above, p. 228. 


to whom the tietdjd is always ready to bow as to the first 
and highest of the tietdjdt} 

The exercise of magic found itself in a Hke condition 
among the polytheistic Germanic peoples. Besides the 
greater deities there was here a whole world of lesser 
daemonic beings, and even the greater gods did not hold 
in the popular mind the same lofty place that they hold 
in ancient Norse poetry. The fact that Odin and all the 
aesir are at a certain period defined as wizards, is not only 
an idea of Snorri^ or of Saxo, due to the Euhemeristic 
theory by which they and others then explained the 
ancient myth ; nor is it altogether due to the customary 
decadence of the ancient gods in presence of the new 
religion, as when Apollo and the other divinities of clas- 
sical antiquity came to be considered by the Christians as 
sorcerers. There is a deeper and more special reason, 
namely, that the idea of magic held among Germanic 
polytheists a much larger and more elevated position than 
it ever did in Greek and Eoman polytheism. The Eddie 
songs, from the Voluspa downwards, are full of the mystery 
of the wondrous visions and recondite knowledge that are 
the privilege of but few, a privilege great in proportion to 
the greatness of those who possess it, weighty in propor- 
tion to the intimate correspondence between knowledge 
and power. Not only the elves or dwarfs but also the 
gods were magicians ; they also were called charm-smiths 
(galdra-smidhir) . Already in the Vegtamsqvida (Baldrs drau- 
mar) Odin is called father of the charm (galdrs fodhur). 
It is with spells that he tames the dog of Hell and raises 
the dead volva or sibyl : " he began to sing the song which 

^ Vid., among many others, the first songs in Lonnrot's collection ex- 
pressing this feeling of the tietdjd's dependence on God : " En puhu 
omalla suuUa, Puhun suulla suuremmalla," etc. (I speak not with my 
own mouth, I speak with a higher mouth, etc.), p. 2 d. " The word of the 
tietdjd is potent, but more so is that of the creator " {Kalevala, rune 
viii., 1. 275 et seq,). 

2 Ynglinga saga, chaps, vi. , vii. 

THE KUNE. 285 

raises the dead, and she perforce arose " {nam hann vittugri 
val-galdr kvedha, unz naudhig raeis). In the Bunatal (Hdva- 
mdl) Odin names the various runes and songs efficacious, 
in divers contingencies, which it is his boast to know : 
those for curing sicknesses, for stopping missiles in their 
course, for setting oneself free from fetters, for putting 
out fires, for calming the waves, etc. The supreme god 
here stands on a level with the Valkyrie Sigrdrifa, who 
teaches similar powerful runes and magic words to Sigurd 
in the Sigrdrifumdl. 

It is quite a common thing for the divine wisdom to 
be symbolised as human wisdom derived from God ; hence 
Odin figures as the father of runes, of the Galdr, of poetry,, 
etc., as he is the father of everything and everybody 
{Alfodhr). But the divine being is here so frequently, so 
materially represented as acting through human means, 
that the symbolism is lost sight of and the divine ideal 
is debased. Anthropomorphism is here primitive and 
rude as it never was among the Greeks. The god who is 
father of all and knows everything is nevertheless in con- 
stant need of information ; like a man, whose power and 
knowledge, however great, yet have a limit. He interro- 
gates wise giants, sibyls and dead men, and receives- 
information from birds. Knowledge and power, immediate 
and essential in the divine being of classical polytheism,, 
who, as god or numen, acts through the nutus or vev/jua, are 
here obscured and eclipsed ; for although the fundamental 
idea of them exists, their actual presentment is not that, 
of an essential, but of a thing acquired after the manner 
of men. Besides, the effect of the act of volition is pro- 
duced through a means ; and this is a human, not a divine, 
thing ; as is also the dependence of power on knowledge. 
Thus it often happens that Odin acts altogether like a 
man, getting drunk {Hdvamdl, 13, 14), or disguising himself „ 
and that the god in him is unrecognisable.^ We will not 

1 R. Meyer, Die Altgerm. Poesie, etc., p. 35. 


discuss here whether, as Grimm and other scholars of 
his race think,^ this be due to a corruption, during times 
of decadence, of more ancient, pure and elevated ideals. 
'One thing is certain, that the fact is apparent not only 
among the Scandinavians, but in the most ancient sur- 
viving examples of Germanic myth. Even in the Merse- 
hurger Gebet, of which we have spoken above, Odin or 
Vuotan heals the horse by the use of a magic formula. 
Now this exaltation of magic and the magic song which 
the shamanist Finns found among their neighbours, 
-exercised a great influence upon them, determined among 
them the development of their own magic song, and was 
reflected too in the poetical ideals born of this poetry. 
For although Vainamoinen, as we have said, has nothing 
to do with the god Odin, still, if we consider Odin as he 
appears in many parts of the Edda, the relationship is 
•evident. He is the highest, wisest, most potent of all the 
laulajat, he is the eternal tietdjd, just as Odin is the father 
of the galdr ; he acts, therefore, not as a god but as a 
man, through his song ; his power is proportioned to his 
knowledge, and he is tietdjd or wise, Hke Odin the all-know- 
ing. He measures himself in potent wisdom with Jouka- 
hainen, as Odin is ready to do with Vafthrudnir and with 
others. But there is a thing he does not know, and he 
descends into Hell to learn it, as does Odin. We have 
already said that there is no direct relationship between 
the Finnic and the Eddie songs : that the informing 
spirit of the Finnic myth is not that of the Norse myth. 
Odin, in his capacity of god and father of all men, has 
nothing to do with Vainamoinen ; but magic, poetically 
understood as power deriving from the knowledge of rune 
and of song, and so far idealised as to have a place in the 
poetic and anthropomorphic presentment of the divine 
beings and their action, is a factor of the highest Norse 

^ Cf. Maurer, Die Bekehrmig d. norw. St. z. Christenth., ii., 141 et seq. 

THE KUNE. 287 

poetry that remains to us, and must have been of still 
greater importance in the popular conceptions of these 
peoples. Hence the stimulus and suggestion to the Fin- 
nic genius ; which, transforming its material, primitive 
shamanism into a poetic shamanism, created by its own 
independent working a poetry and myth that are its own, 
although the foreign yeast that worked in them is still 

The secret knowledge of the origins of things and the 
power it confers over the things themselves, is a distin- 
guishing feature, as we have seen, of the Finnic wizard in 
the poetry of the Loitsurunot, is the principal fact which 
renders the loitsija or wizard a tietdjd or wise man. 
Further, this knowledge of origins resolves itself into a 
knowledge of myth, since the songs of the origins are all 
mythical. Now in all this we recognise conceptions that 
dominate in ancient Scandinavian poetry, and may be 
also traced in the wide meaning of the Scandinavian word 
riXn, which the Finns adopted to express this magic 
poetry of theirs. Biin is originally secret, recondite 
knowledge ; it is also the mysterious, graven sign, the 
character which has a mystic value and magic efficacy. 
The highest wisdom is the wisdom of the runes — that, 
therefore, of Odin himself, who is their father.^ Every- 
thing has its rune; so that the knowledge of runes is 
equivalent to the knowledge of the very essence of the 
things themselves. 2 For the rune is not an ordinary, inert 
sign ; it is potent, giving wisdom to him who knows it, 
in proportion as it represents word and thought. Thus 
runa also signifies the mythological learning that narrates 
the origins of things, the origins, names and genealogies 

^ Vid. in Petersen's Nordisk Mythologi the chapter Odin som runars 
opfinder. p. 266 et seq. (2nd ed.) ; Simrok, Deutsche MythoL, p. 234 et seq. 
(2nd ed.). 

2 Petersen, op. ciL, p. 213. Gf. Meyer, Die Altgerm. Poesie nach ihren 
formelJmften Elementen beschrieben, p. 494. 


of the gods, of the giants, of men {iotiia ritinum ok allra 
goda) ; a secret learning, known of a few, set forth mys- 
teriously. The volva, who reads what others know not, 
both in the future and in the past, is also potent as a 
witch. And since the myth is poetry and the power of 
the rune is magic, the magic song and the rune are often 
so closely united that, however much nma may preserve 
its value of magic sign, it is yet found in intimate connec- 
tion with the galdr or magic song, almost as though it 
were the written sign or graven symbol of the latter. In 
fact the B'unatal (last part of the Hdvamdl) speaks so in- 
discriminately of the magic runa and of the Ljod or song, 
which is also magic, that the two words would almost 
seem to be equivalent. We will say nothing further con- 
cerning the passage of meaning between run, galdr (or 
Lj6d, fimbulljod) and mdl (learning), so well set forth by 

The history of the meaning of the word runa as it is 
used first in the most ancient poetry and then in the 
period of the skalds, contains therefore the idea of the 
myth of the origins as it occurs in the Finnic magic runes, 
and, if not precisely the idea of the magic song, certainly 
that of magic efficacy. Nevertheless the meaning, nearer 
or more remote, of sign, is never lost sight of. It still 
exists in modern Scandinavian languages ; but it is quite 
foreign to the Finns, for whom runa means a magic and 
poetical word, never a sign : the magic sign is, in fact, 
not known to their tietdjdt. This is easily explained 
when one reflects on the late period at which writing 
was introduced among them ; but it appears singular 
when one remembers that the magic drum of shamanists 
was ornamented, as it is to this day among the Lapps, 
with symbolical figures, and that the Scandinavians call 
these figures runes, translating by runebom the Lapp gob- 
das, so called from the figures (govva) which it bears. 

One thing there is, however, in the Finnic runes 

THE EUNE. 289 

which shows that the Finns were not altogether ig- 
norant of that interchangeabihty between the magic sign 
and the song or word which we have observed among the 
Scandinavians. When Vainamoinen is in want of the 
three magic words for the building of his ship, he seeks 
them everywhere: in the brain of the swallow, in the 
head of the swans, on the shoulders of the geese, on the 
tongue of the reindeer, in the mouth of the squirrel 
(Kalevala, xvi., 125 et seq.) ; and he finds words by the 
hundred, but none that serve his purpose. Here it is 
clear that words, not runes, are spoken of. Yet they 
are not words but signs of words : that is to say, they are 
runes in the sense known to ancient Scandinavian poetry. 
We may remember that the Sigrdrifumdl (13-17) speaks of 
runes found traced on the tongue of Bragi, in the brain of 
Heiddraupnir, on the paws of the bear, on the nails of the 
wolf, on the talons of the eagle, on the beak of the owl, 
etc., etc. 

J. Grimm was mistaken ^ when he placed the word 
runo among those which the Finns had originally in com- 
mon with the Indo-Europeans. It is entirely wanting 
among the other Ugro-Finnic peoples, even among the 
Lapps and Esthonians. The Lapps of Sweden have the 
word, it is true, but they have taken it, like so many 
others, from Germanic sources, and they used it only 
in its primitive sense, runa (rudna), sermo, rumor ; rudnat, 
to murmur, mewl, conqueri [de infantihus). In Mod. 
Germ, we still have raunen, to whisper, speak low at the 
ear {flustem), the original meaning of the word, which 
seems to have a common root with the Latin rumor. 
Hence the meaning secret, secret deliberation of the Gothic 
runa and the A.-S. r{tn, borne also by the same word in 
other ancient German tongues. A people of a different 
family have taken the word with the same meaning as 

Kl. Schrift., ii., p. 80 et seq. 



the Lapps have : the Letts have runa, speech ; runaht, to 
speak ; runas, counsel, secret advice. Now the Finns know 
nothing of these original meanings of the word ; for them 
runo signifies simply song, runota, to poetise, to make 
verse. This is all the more worthy of note since among 
them too the wizard mutters, murmurs, yaps, immummrat,^ 
especially in his magic ecstasy. But they express this 
with their word myrrys,^ and hence call the wizard myrrys- 
mies, the mutterer. 

Since the Finns, then, were quite ignorant of the 
secondary meaning, so common among the Scandinavians, 
of mystic or magic sign, of alphabetical character, the 
following question arises : what was the connection be- 
tween the special, Finnic use of the word, and the 
Germanic use of it ? This question stands in relation to 
the other, which we are here principally treating, of the 
manner and time of the rune's birth. We also think, as 
others have justly observed, that the primitive poetry of 
the rune is the poetry of the magic songs ^ and that 
originally the foreign word runa must have been used to 
express this as significative of something mystic and 
secret. But its exclusive and limited meaning among the 
Finns (in Finnic rimo never means secret) would by no 
means lead us to the conclusion that the word was 
taken by them as meaning only secret and as hence 
applicable to the secret songs of the tietdjd ; we must 
rather believe that they took it when it had already been> 
by Germanic usage, closely approximated ' to, if not 
rendered quite synonymous with, the galdr or secret magic 
song. Uhland "* makes a correct observation that comes 

^ Cf. on the use of a similar expression among more than one people* 
when speaking of the magic word, Grimm, D. MythoL, p. 1024 ; Little 
Kuss. Septulm, wise-woman, witch, from ^eptati, to murmur to oneself or 
whisper at the ear. 

2 In Esthonian milrristamine is the noise of the thunder. Vid. Kreutz- ' 
wald, Myth. u. mag. Lieder, p. 12 et seq. 

3 Ahlqvist, Die Cidturw., etc., p. 263. * Schriften, vi., p. 260. 

THE EUNE. 291 

in aptly here. He finds in this special and single sense in 
which the Finns use the word runo a further proof of the 
closeness, one may almost say interchangeabihty of mean- 
ing, which he observes to exist in ancient Norse poetry be- 
tween the words run, stafr, galdr. But however we may 
choose to understand the relationship which quite evi- 
dently exists in that ancient poetry, between the magic 
sign or nina and the magic song or galdr or Ijod} it is 
certain that in the most ancient remains they are always 
distinct, although often closely approximated, as, for 
instance, in the Bunatal ; neither do these records contain, 
any passage in which the word ri^Ti can be said to have 
precisely the same meaning as the Finnic r^mo. In the 
Eddie songs we find an indication of the approximation of 
the two, which was perhaps still more advanced in popular 
usage; but the only clear and certain example of this, 
meaning occurs in the Edda of Snorri (Bragarodur) ^ and 
in the ancient period of such neo-Germanic languages as 

1 Lilienkrohn, Zur Runenlehre, p. 17, shows the connection between 
run (secret or mystic sign) and stafr (alliteration) : " Wir haben also nun 
die Runen als mystische Zeichen darin zu bestimmen, dass sie in ihrer 
Reihe nicht die Bucistaben in unseren Sinn, sondern die Zahl der An- 
laute darstellen, auf deren Gleichklang die altgermanische Poesie gebaut 
ward . . . " ; p. 20 : " Fiihrte der Stabreim auf eine formelle Verbindung 
von Rune und Vers ... so leitet eine andere Spur auf einen materiellen 
Zusammenhang beider ". Here he speaks of the passage of the Bragarodur 
which we give below, where " ist die Identitat von Rune und Versmaterie 
unzweideutig ausgesprochen ". 

2 The passage of the Bragarodur (2 at the end) treats of a mode of 
speech (ordhtak) which is one of those customary kenningar of skaldic 
poetry that envelop and hide {fela) an idea ; and it is said that this mode 
is used i nmum edha i skdldskap (in rune or poetry). 

Since runa signifies also letter or alphabetical sign, the idea arises that, 
besides poetry, it might come to signify literse, ypdtifiara. Vigfusson thought 
this {Sturlunga Saga, p. xxxix.), understanding as a grammaticus the title 
runameistari (although he expresses himself badly, referring to a Homeric 
use of ypdixfiara which does not exist) of the well-known skald Thorodd. 
But against him vid. Olsen (Bjorn Magnusson), Runerne i den oldnordiske 
Literatur, Kjobenh., 1883, p. 44 et seq. 


Old English, Old Swedish and Danish, and Middle High 

In the passage of the word from the Germanic 
languages to the Finnic (where it assumed its ultimate 
meaning, the one furthest from its origin, which never 
entered into common use) we may observe a fact analogous 
to that of modern German, dichten, dichter, gedicht, etc. In 
these words the real meanings of dico, dic{ti)to, and of the 
mediaeval dictare, dictamen, etc., are entirely lost ; they are 
replaced by one which was never really attached to dictare^ 
dictamen, Old Ital. dettato (which always includes prose), 
but which is a later limitation of these words. The mean- 
ing of tihten (to write, compose, poetise, find, etc.) in Middle 
High German was, in fact, broader.^ 

It is possible, though we cannot affirm this, that the 
word which has become Finnic had also at one time, 
among the Finns, a more extended meaning than it has 
at present. Its present value proves, however, beyond a 
doubt that they adopted it not from the Goths, as 
Thomsen thinks, but in less ancient times from the 
Scandinavians, among whom the word had already 
approached the sense in which the Finns used it. If we 
compare the employment of the word in Soemund's Edda 
with its employment in the Edda of Snorri, we shall find 
that the modification in its meaning took place not in the 
period of the most ancient Eddie songs, but in that of the 
auHc poetry of the skalds (after Harald Haarfagr, that is 
after the end of the ninth century). The traces of this 
modification can be observed in the ancient Norse ballads 

^ Vid. the Swedish and Danish examples quoted at the end of thial 
chapter. For the Old English example, " Ther herd y rede in roune Wh<f 1 
Tristram got and bare," Sir Tristram, ch. i., st. i. " Herkene to my roun" 
{i.e., song), Ritson, Ancient Songs, n. iv. Vid. also n. vii., " briddes roune" 
(bird's song). Runes are, however, spoken of as magic signs written or en- 
graved on branches, etc., by ancient Danish ballads ; vid. Grundtvig, Di 
gaml. Folkevis., ii., n. 79, 80. 

2 Vid. Wackernagel, Gesch. d. deutsch. Litterat., pp. 148, 152 

THE EUNE. 293 

which kept the word aHve in popular usage among the 
Danes and the Swedes, with whom the Finns were most 
in contact. 

That the adoption of the word dates among the Finns 
from fairly ancient times, cannot be for a moment doubted. 
That it was anterior to the Swedish conquest and to the 
introduction of Christianity, is certainly proved by the 
tenacity with which it clings exclusively to the traditional 
magic and epic songs, and among the former exclusively 
to those of the origins, which are also epic ; by the fact, 
moreover, that it is proper not to all the Finns but only 
to the Carelians, among whom the tradition of the runes 
now principally flourishes, and who were perhaps the first 
authors of the rune.^ On the other hand, the absence of 

^ Vid. Ahlqvist in the Kieletar, iv., p. 35, and vid. sup., p. 48 et seq. The 
word runo is not at present used everywhere in Carelia. In Kussian and 
in southern Carelia it is little known or almost unknown, virsi being used 
instead ; vid. Borenius, Ltiojan virsi (in the Virittdjd, ii., 1886), p. 59 ; 
Relander in the Valvoja, 1889, p. 326 ; Neovius, Kalevalan kotiperastd, p. 
9. This is also reflected in the Kalevala, where virsi occurs more fre- 
quently than runo ; Agricola, too, uses virsi instead of runo when he 
speaks of Vainamoinen, smith of songs [virdJiet takoi). Borenius and some 
others have expressed an opinion that the true, original Finnic word for 
the traditional song was not runo but virsi, which passed on to signify 
religious songs, as saarna, originally story, tale (as it still is in Russian 
Carelia), came to mean sermon ; and they further maintain that virsi has 
nothing to do with the Latin versus, but that it is a Finnic word (stem, 
virte) of doubtful etymology {virta, current, river ?). All this is clearly 
erroneous. What we have said of the history of the word riln and its 
meanings shows that its introduction into Finnic cannot have been of 
recent date, nor through the modern Scandinavian tongues. Virsi is 
without doubt the Latin versus, which has reached the Finns by a Sla- 
vonic or Lithu-Slavonic road : the Russians have vir'ia in the sense of 
verse and poetical composition ; the Poles in the same sense wierz, the 
Lithuanians wirszils. The word was probably introduced among the 
Finns before the Reformation (for it is already in use in the times of 
Agricola), but not before Christianity, as is proved by the meaning of 
psalm or ecclesiastical song which it took among them, as in mediaeval 
Latin did versus ; in any case, at no very ancient date, for its use among 
Slavs and Lithuanians can also not be very ancient. It was declined 
by analogy like so many other words of similar ending {karsi, parsi, 


every trace of the more ancient and original meanings of 
the word forbids us to attribute its adoption to the times 
of the most ancient Germanic, properly Gothic, influences. 
Indeed it is my opinion, whatever others may say, that 
not even the poetry of the runes, and I make no exception 
for the magic runes, can be ascribed to so early a date. 
It is not possible, amid such dearth and uncertainty of 
historical notices, to specify exactly the how and the when 
of the contacts, of the influences, whose existence is yet 
clearly shown by the methodical analysis of the language, 
as it is by that of the myth and of poetical production. 
The sleep of barbarism was long among this people. The 
most ancient Germanic influence was unable, as it would 
seem, to break it ; as it has been also unable to break that 
of the Lapps. The origins of that movement towards 
civilisation which distinguished the Finns from the Lapps, 
which embodied itself ideally in the production of a poetry 
peculiarly their own, in an ennobling of their rough, 
primitive shamanism through a poetic myth that brings 
them near to neighbouring European Aryans, need not 
even be sought for prior to the vast, brutal but fruitful 
movement which was determined by the Vikings from the 
eighth to the eleventh centuries, and extended throughout 
the whale of the continent. Scandinavian, or Norman, if 
one hkes to call it so, was the strongest, most profound 
influence to which the Finns, like the other peoples of 
those regions, were exposed. This is the period in which 

varsi, etc.), hence the forms that would suggest a stem virte (pi., virret or 

From versus is also derived varsy = verse, in a more restricted sense. 
This word, as Ahlqvist thinks {Kieletdr, iv.), is more recent — not prior to 
Agricola and the Reformation. It has come along a Germanic road (Germ., 
Swed., etc., vers), by which it has also reached the Lithuanians {2)<^.rszas), 
the Letts {perscha), the Esthonians (ivars). These latter have not virsi, 
as they have not runo. The word riino belongs essentially to Finnic 
paganism ; there is no wonder that in many parts of Carelia, even where 
traditional poetry (confused with the Christian idea) best survives, it 
should have been supplanted by the more Christian virsi. 

THE EUNE. 295 

the Kussian State had its origin, taking its name, already 
in the tenth century, from the Norsemen, whom the 
Byzantines called 'Pw? and afterwards 'PovatoL, the Arabs 
Bits, the Finns Buotsi (or Buotsalaiset). This last name 
the Finns still apply to the Swedes, who are identical 
with the much-discussed Varyags. The Finns knew 
these Slavs, who were their nearest neighbours, only 
under the name Veneds or Vends, which the Germanic 
nations then applied to the Slavs in general, and which 
still remains in the Finnic word for Eussia and the 
Eussians {Vendjd, Venalctiset)} Finns and Slavs were 
those northern peoples who in 862, according to the 
Bussian chronicles, are reported to have said to the Bos 
of Sweden or the Varyags, " Great and vast is our country, 
but there is no order in it ; come and give us a princedom 
and a government ".^ No princedom and government fell 
to the lot of the Finns, who remained in great part and 
for a long while free in a simple form of society ; but they 
felt their influence, although in a manner different from 
the Slavs, and with a different effect. And all the more 
must they have felt it if, as appears likely, the opinion 
put forward by a few scholars is correct (one among the 
many formulated on this vexed question of the Varyags),^ 
that the Eussians or Bos of Scandinavia had already, at 
the time when they were called, been long estabhshed in 
proximity to the Finns and the Slavs on the east of 
the Gulf of Finland, in some place near Lake Ladoga.'^ 

1 1 find no trace among the Finns of the name {Gardar, Gardariki) 
which the ancient Norse gave to the country that afterwards became 
Russia. They call the Germans Saxons {Saksalaiset) , however, and this 
in accordance with the ancient Norse, who called them Saxar. 

2 " Zemlia na^a velika i obilna, a narjada u nei njet ; da pridiete 
kniaziti i volodieti nami," Nestor, s. ann. 862 (6370). Vid. the variants 
given by Akiander, TJtdrag ur Byska ammler, in Suomi, 1849, p. 13 et seq. 

^ Vid. their history given by Krek, Einleitung in die slavisclie Littera- 
turgesch., p. 355 et seq. 

* Thomsen, Der Ursprung d. 7'uss. Staates, Gotha, 1879. 


Archaeological discoveries prove beyond a doubt that 
Scandinavian influence prevailed in that district in very 
ancient times. 

Meanwhile there was flourishing in Norway and in 
Iceland a poetry whose remains have come down to us in 
the songs of the Edda, not one of which, it is quite cer- 
tain, is prior to the period of the Vikings. This poetry 
was too lofty to reach the Finns directly with all its mythic, 
doctrinal and systematic elaborations. It reached them 
only indirectly as a vague echo, far removed as they were 
by race, language and social condition, through the popular 
tradition of the ancient Swedes and other Norse with whom 
they were in contact.^ The ancient religion of the Swedes 
and Norse had, however, at that time entered on its phase 
of decadence. Superstition flourished, as did the beHef in 
magic arts ; and of these the shamanic peoples appeared, 
as was natural, to be great masters. Especially were the 
Lapps renowned, being nearest to the Norwegians in Fin- 
mark ; and the Finns were certainly also esteemed from the 
time that the Norse knew them and had relations with 
them. The credit enjoyed at that time by the Lapps 
and Finns for their skill in these arts may be seen in 
Scandinavian sagas ; ^ where the history, legendary, it is 
true, of those ancient days, often speaks of them and re- 
cords facts in which Lapp and Finnic wizards figure to- 
gether with Norse princes and princesses, their pupils in 
the magic art. Even the famous king Harald Fairhair 
(Haarfagr, 863-936) was a follower of the art ; but after- 
wards he persecuted it, burning his own son and eighty 
other persons who persisted in practising it. It neverthe- 
less continued to be a frequent habit, in spite of continually 
re-enacted prohibitory laws, to go and consult the Finns as 

^ Among the Norsemen who go about as warriors, Vikings or mer- 
chants there are also famous skalds or poets, skilled in magic runes and 
enchantments. Vid. examples in Uhland's Schriften, vi., p. 377. 

2 Vid. sup., p. 246. 


THE KUNE. 297 

wizards and seers {fara til Finnar, finnfor, gera finnfarar} 
and to have faith in them (trua a Finnar).^ 

From this period probably dates the rivalry in magic 
between Finns and Lapps of which we have spoken 
above,- and which is so strongly marked in the magic 
and epic runes. Lapp magic is not poetical, but of that 
damnable kind called by the Norse seidr. This Norse 
word (of doubtful etymology) ^ has not entered the Finnic 
tongue, while the Lapps have taken it and applied it to 
formless or rude images of their deities in stone or wood ; 
perhaps, as Castren thinks,* because they used them, as 
did other kindred peoples, in their magic operations. Al- 
though the two kinds of magic were afterwards confused, 
especially under the influence of Christianity, yet the 
ancient songs do make a distinction between this damn- 
able seidr and the magic proceeding from recondite know- 
ledge and acting through the rune and the galdr or magic 
song.^ Not only is the latter not to be condemned, but it 
is a divine thing. Odin acts through it, as do the other 
gods ; Odin is its father, as he is of all wisdom. 
This is the conception in accordance with which the 
Finns, under Norse influence, moulded their shamanism, 
separating off from the Lapps and other peoples : magic 
power resides above all in the word, especially in magic 
word and song, and it is the business of wise men (tietdjdt} 
who know the rune, the essence, the profound and secret 
origin (syvd synty) of everything. The names used show 
the origin of the fundamental conception : runo is the 
Scandinavian word that includes the meaning of secret 
knowledge of things and of their origins, and hence indi- 
cates essentially the magic-epic song ; laulu, laulaa, which 
mean song and charm, to sing and to weave spells, 

1 Vid. Fritzner, Ordbog over det gamle norske Sprog., s. v. Finn. 

2 Vid. p. 244 et seq. =* Grimm, D. Mythol., p. 685. 

* Finsk Mythol., p. 207 et seq. Cf. Friis, Lappish Mythol., p. 137 et seq.. 
^ Cf. Maurer, Die Bekehr. d. norw. Stamm. z. Christenth., ii., p. 147. 


translate the generic idea existing in galdr or in gala 
which has the same value ; runoseppd, latihcseppd, smith 
or artificer of songs, translate the Norse galdrasmidr, 

That this production and development of poetry took 
place among the Finns v^hile the shamanic idea was 
flourishing, and strictly in accordance with this idea, is 
proved by their having paid no attention to anything in 
the Norse poetry that had not to do with magic and the 
magic song ; by their remaining deaf and indifferent to the 
numerous varieties of that poetry, neglecting not only the 
names {drap)r, qvida, etc.) of these varieties, but the things 
the names represent. They did not adopt even the ancient 
and very common word skaldr, poet, which has never fallen 
into desuetude, but is still living in Scandinavian lan- 
guages of the present time. 

But although this poetical production received its 
impulse from outside, and not only its impulse but 
the suggestion of its fundamental idea — that of Origins, 
mother of poetic myth — yet in the creation of their poetry 
the Finns proceeded originally and independently. They 
did not translate or imitate, but brought forth of their 
own, according to the genius of their language and their 
thought. This is clearly proved by the ancient, primi- 
tive form, which is all their own, and has remained for 
centuries unique, stable, unchanged.^ For there is no 
Norse or German metre from which the metre of the 
Finnic runes may be said to be copied ; and alliteration, 
which it is true is common to them both, is not subject to 
the same laws as in the Norse songs. Besides, it is a 
thing of such common use in the primitive poetry of 
many peoples, that it would be difficult to prove that; 
the Finns learnt it from the Scandinavians. Neither is 
the parallelism, which is found here and there in Norse 

1 Vid. what has been said on this form in chap, i., part i., p. 30 et 

THE EUNE. 299 

poetry,^ as it is also in the Russian hyliny and in other 
Slav songs,- to be considered as learnt from others here, 
where it is used not sporadically, but as a perennial, fun- 
damental law, characterising poetic style in general with- 
out distinction of its lyric or epic contents. And this 
independence and liberty of proceeding is rendered still 
more manifest by the negative, very notable fact of the 
absolute want, at all times, of strophic division ; although 
this was common and ancient in Germanic poetry, and 
the dominating law in all the Eddie songs. 

With the form, easy, frankly popular, favourable to 
improvisation, corresponds the style, also popular and 
clear, devoid of metaphors and of abstruse, far-fetched 
similitudes, free from those henningar which, although 
they reached their highest point in the aulic poetry of the 
skalds, are still not wanting in the Eddie songs ; corre- 
sponds also the tone, which is quiet yet warm. The 
Finnic rune has hence a far more popular character than 
has ancient Norse poetry ; nay, it may be called the true 
type of popular poetry. Under this aspect it comes nearer 
to the Eussian hyliny (to which it is certainly anterior) 
than to any of the surviving Norse songs. Finally, 
another proof of its independence is the myth it gener- 
ated ; for this, in spite of numerous names of Germanic 
and even Slav origin, in spite of outside influences which 
we have traced in our analysis of it, yet displays a charac- 
ter and an impress all its own. 

The galdr is often mentioned in ancient Norse literature, 
but not quoted.^ Up to what point the Finnic rune ap- 

1 Cf. Meyer (R. M.), Die Altgerman. Poesie nach ihren form. Element, 
ieschr., p. 327 et seq. 

2 On the various kinds of repetition in Slav songs vid. Miklosich, 
Die Darstellung im slavischen Volksepos, Vien., 1890, p. 7 et seq. (Denkschr. 
d. k. Akad. d. Wiss. in. Wien., Phil, hist., cl., b. xxxviii.). 

^ Not even in the songs in which the subject or title would make us 
•expect to find it, as the Groagaldr or the Hrafnagaldr Odhins, which is 
very obscure and of doubtful antiquity. 


proaches it in form and substance it is therefore not 
possible to determine. We have, however, an Anglo- 
Saxon gealdor certainly prior to the tenth century^ that 
treats a subject for v^hich the Finns have many magic 
runes : pleurisy. The form is different, but the ideas are 
the same. The ill is ascribed to a great number of tiny 
arrows or darts (lytel spare) shot by witches {hdgtessan) ^ 
riding through the air. In the same way Finnic songs- 
speak of little darts (nuolet, piilit), points (piikkit), lances 
or halberds {keihdt, lehtikeihdt) , thrown by evil wizards, by 
Hiisi, by Lempo, by the devil, etc.^ The Anglo-Saxon 
gealdor repeatedly bids the little lance to leave the body it 
has entered {ut lytel spere, gif hit liar inne sy) ; the Finnic 
rune bids the one who threw it draw out his evil instru- 
ment, his weapon with which he strikes, his arrow {Ota 
pois omat pahasi, Asehesi ampajainen, Pine piili tavota, etc.) ; 
and the singer adds that he has himself made, that he has^ 
caused the smith, caused Ilmarinen* to make tiny pincers,, 
tenacious pliers (Pihet pikkaraiset, Atulat alinomaiset) . The 
Anglo-Saxon frightens the malicious beings who have- 
thrown the darts by threatening to hurl a dart against 
them ; announces that the smith has already made a 
knife, six smiths have already made six war-spears ; 
and the Finnic song menaces the same thing: " Thy 
point is of wood," it says to the malignant one,'" mine 
is of sharp iron; for once that thou prickest I prick 

^ It is in an old book of Anglo-Saxon prescriptions, of which there is a 
Harleian MS. of the tenth century published in Cockayne's collection, 
Leechdoms, Wordcunning and Starcraft of Early Englatid, London, 1864-6 ^ 
vid. vol. iii., p. 52. Grimm was the first to give this charm in the D. 
Mythol., p. 1039 et seq., with an explanation, without translating it alL 
The text is full of lacunae and is in some places obscure. It has beeni 
reproduced in many books and collections, of which there is a catalogue 
in Wiilcker's Gesch. d. angelsdchs. Litteratur, p. 350. 

^ Thus in the popular denominations still used in Germany, Drachen- 
schtiss, Hezenschuss. 

3 Loitsurun., pp. 79 et seq., 220 et seq., 301 et seq. 

* Ibid., p. 221 c. 

THE EUNE. 301 

rtwice, and if thou prickest twice I prick three times," 

But there is nothing in what we know of ancient and 
modern magic songs, whether of Germanic or of Slav 
peoples, that corresponds to the poetic worth, to the 
poetic development we meet with in the Finnic song. 
This finds a parallel only in that primitive religious poetry 
-of naturalistic polytheism which generates poetic myth 
and finally poetry of lay character. The magic songs are 
often addressed as prayers to deities or superior beings, 
and are confused with the songs of prayer that accompany 
sacrifice among non-shamanist peoples. Beautiful in 
their simplicity and primitive freshness are those, among 
the most ancient, referring to agricultural and pastoral 
life, to the hunt, to fishing; imploring favour and pro- 
itection for these operations. This is a fact which, as 
Orimm observes {D. M., 1033), occurs amongst all peoples. 
It occurs also among the Finns, whose magic songs are 
in great part songs of prayer ; and this indeed is the title 
(rukouksia) which Ldnnrot gives to seventy-two songs of 
Jiis collection. Let us hear one or two of them : " Vel- 
lamo, mistress of waters. Queen of a hundred (sea) -caves, 
Arouse the scaly crowd, Urge on the fishy flocks. Forth 
from their hiding-place, Forth from the muddy sHme, 
Forth to this net-hauling. To the weights of the hundred- 
meshed. Take now thy beauteous shield, Shake the 
golden water-lily with which the fish thou frighten 'st, 
And driv'st them towards the net, Beneath the plain so 
gloomy,^ Above the boulders black." ^ 

The hunter prays to the goddess of the wood: — 
" vigorous mistress of the wild beasts, Sweet 
lady of the earth, Come with me, be with me, While 
to the wood I go. Come thou and good luck bring 

^ Loitsurun., p. 81 e. 

2 " Alta aavojen syvien." It is the fiadeia it6vtov irXd^ of Pindar. 

■2 Loitsurun. , p. 169. 


me, To happy fortune help me ; Make thou to move 
the fohage, The fruit tree to be shaken, And thy wild 
beasts drive hither, The largest and the smallest, With 
their snouts of every kind. With their paws of fur of 
all kinds." 1 

Neither is there wanting allusion to offering or 
sacrifice : — 

" Cook, Kuutar, a fat cake, Paivatar, a cake with 
honey; That I may propitiate the forest, That I may 
entice the thick forest, For the day of my hunting, When 
I go in search of prey ".^ 

"Accept my salt, O wood, My porridge, Tapio, 
Dear king of the wood, With the hat of leaves, With the 
beard of moss. . . ."^ 

A sick man, taking water as a medicine, says : — 

*' pure water, lady of the waters. Now do thou 
make me whole, Lovely as before. For this I beg thee 
dearly, And in offering I give thee, Blood to appease 
thee. Salt to propitiate thee." ^ 

Here magic is lost sight of. Were it not for external 
circumstances no one would call these and many others,, 
magic songs. One feels in them, instead, a poetry 
universally human in which things are apostrophised, 
personified, distinguished like persons with qualificative 
epithets that are also poetical images : the production 
of the myth is evident. This is still more plainly ob- 
servable in magic songs of a different kind; in those,, 
namely, in which narration finds a place ; especially in 
those of the Origins, where the passage from the magic 
to the epic song is clearer. Several songs of prayer 
against pleurisy beg Ukko, Ilmarinen, to send down from 
the sky, to forge little pincers to pull out the httle points, 
the little arrows which evil spirits have hurled, which are 

1 Loitsurun., p. 202. 2 j^,^,^ p^ 202. 

3 Ibid., p. 226. 4 Ibid., p. 232. 


THE EUNE. 305 

the cause of the pains.^ This is simply a definition of 
the pain through images, and is, as we have seen, common 
elsewhere. But it has, in the poetry of the Finnic runes, 
a mythic development which it has not elsewhere, since, 
to dominate the things, one must know their essence, 
their history, their secret origins, or, as ancient Norse^ 
poetry would say, the runa. The song of the Origins of 
Pleurisy'^ {Pistokseii synty) narrates that: Once there sprang 
up an oak so large and tall that its boughs darkened the 
sun and the moon and hindered the clouds in their course. 
The peoples asked how they could get on without the. 
sun and without the moon in that unlucky northern land^ 
They determined to fell the immense oak ; but could find 
no one able to do it. Then there arose from the sea a. 
little man, black and very tiny, with an axe upon his 
shoulder, a stone helmet on his head, and stone shoes on 
his feet. He began to hew at the tree, and at the third 
stroke he felled it. With its "roots to the east and its top 
to the west it lay like an eternal bridge leading to 
gloomy Pohjola. The splinters that fell into the sea. 
were wafted by the wind to the regions that cannot be 
named where is Hiitola (the abode of Hiisi, maleficent 
genius). Hiisi's dog, with teeth of iron, seized them and 
bore them to the virgin of Hiisi. The maiden looked at 
them and said : " Something would come out of them 
were they taken to a smith's forge, (given) into the hands, 
of a man who is powerful; he would make darts of 
them". The evil spirit heard her, and carried them to 
the smithy, and made darts to prick men and horses. 
He furnished them with feathers. And how did he 

1 Loitsurun., p. 220 et seq. (n. 40) : — 

Itse seppa Ilmarinen 

Takoja ijan-ikuinen 

Teeppas pihet pikkuruiset 

Atulat ani-vahaiset 

Jolla nouan Lemmon nuolen, etc. 

2 Ibid., p. 301 et seq. (n. 29). 


fasten these on? With hairs of the virgin of Hiisi. 
And how did he harden them? With the poison of 
snakes. Then he tried them on his bow. The first 
arrow he turned against the sky, and it flew so far that 
lie never heard of it again. The second he turned against 
the earth, and it pierced so deep that he never heard of 
it again. He shot the third, and it traversed lands, 
waters, mountains, and forests, ghded over stones and 
reached the skin of man, the trunk of the wretched 

Such is the origin of pleurisy, which several variants 
relate in a difierent manner.^ It is a composition put 
together from fantastic elements of various nature and 
origin, which (e.g., the little man who rises from the sea) 
are often met with in magic songs applied to several 
■diverse ends. We shall not analyse them or give their 
history here. Krohn has already done this,^ though he is 
wrong in caUing to mind the kosmic tree (Ygdrasil) of the 
l!!^orse myth in connection with this great oak. The oak 
has nothing to do with Ygdrasil, but is connected with 
much more modest popular European conceptions.^ 
Speaking generally, we may say that these origins, where 
they do not become simple poetical definitions,^ are mythic 

^ In Lonnrot's collection nine different versions of it are given. 

* Suom. kirkjall. hist. , pp. 402-410. 

3 A popular Norwegian tale speaks of a great oak, so enormous that 
it intercepted the light and prevented people from seeing. No one could 
be found to fell it, but this was done by a miraculous, self-moving axe. 
Asbjornsen u. Moe, Norweg. Volksmdrchen, ii., n. 19. 

The name given by the Finns to the oak tammi is of Slav origin 
^0. SI. damh, Russ. diib, Pol. danh). This tree held an important place, 
in the worship of the ancient Slavs, as sacred to the supreme god Perui 
In the Finnic runes it is called the "tree of God" {junmlan puu)^ "ii 
posing tree " (kamala puu). 

* From among the many of this kind I may choose as an exampU 
the Origin of the Cat {Loitsurun., p. 282, n. 13) : born near the hearth-stone 
has the nose of a maiden, the head of a hare, a tail like Hiisi's pig-tail/ 
«tc. This is a kind of definition by images which occur among other 

THE RUNE. 305 

compositions put together by the tietdjd out of various 
fantastic themes common in Europe. Even where we 
seem to recognise a myth of ancient date, e.g., in the 
Origin of Fire/ we find, on analysis, the echo of some 
Indo-European myth that has passed over to the Finns 
through Germanic or other influences. There is no reason 
why we should consider it as dating among them from an 
epoch more ancient than that we have mentioned for the 
first developments of the magic runes. The Origin of the 
Bear ^ might be considered an exception, since, with the 
feast and the songs for the capture of the animal,^ it finds 
a parallel among kindred peoples, among the Voguls, 
Votyaks, Samoyedes, etc.,* as well as the Lapps. But 
the parallel is limited to the existence among these 

peoples. Thus, for instance, Adam had, according to the Russian legend, 
a body made of earth, bones made of stone, blood made from the sea, 
eyes from the sun, a mind from the clouds, breath from the wind, heat 
from fire, a soul from God. Vid. the Besjeda trech svjatitelei in 
Kostomarofi's Pamjatniki starinnoi russkoi literatury, iii., p. 169 ; Gala- 
^hoff, 1st. russk. slovesTwst., i., p. 185, 

^ Cf. Kuhn, Die Herabkunft des Feuers, p. 110 et seq. Also in the 
Finnic song the production of fire is compared to the making of butter ; 
but the Germanic origin of this ancient idea is evident in the word kirnu, 
churn, which is the Swedish kdrna {vid. Ahlqvist, D. Culturwort., p. 6). 
The churn-stafE is mdntd, Swed. menta, to beat up, Finn, mdntdtd ; 
Schiefner calls to mind the Lithuanian mentiXris. Fire in Finnic is 
called tuli, but is personified in Panu, a word of foreign origin. In 0. 
Pruss. panu means fire. Schiefner has adduced the Swed. fan, devil 
(enemy). Vid. Kuhn, op. cit. , p. 113. 

2 Loitsurun., p. 278, n. 11. ^ Kalevala, rune xlvi. 

* Vid. Applegren, On the Worship of the Bear {Karhun palveluk- 
sesta), in the Valvoja of 1885 et seq. Gondatti, Kult medvjedia u inorodzev 
Sjevero-Zapadnoi Sibiri {The Worship of the Bear among the Inhabitants 
of North-West of Siberia), in the Trudy etnograficesko otdjela, etc., vol. viii., 
Moscow, 1888, interesting for its account of the origin of the bear not 
unlike the Finnic in spirit, and for the description of the feast at the 
killing of the bear with little dramatic scenes for representation, of thirty- 
three of which the subject-matter is given. Curious notices of similar 
representations among the Voguls on the like occasion, with masks of 
birch-bark, are also given by Ahlqvist, XJnter Vogulen u. Ostjaken, Hel- 
singf., 1883, p. 123 et seq. ; cf. p. 40 et seq. 



peoples of similar feasts in honour of the slain bear, and 
to the character of the tales found among some of them 
concerning the history of the animal : usages and ideas 
that are found diffused under various forms throughout 
a vast zone of northern peoples of different stocks, both 
in Europe and in Asia. However ancient this worship 
of the bear, as they call it, and the poetjcal story of the 
animal's origin, may be among the Finns, yet it was cer- 
tainly only after the development of the poetry of the 
magic runes and the stable fixing of their forms, that 
these were employed in the feast and the songs of the 
bear ; and that the poetical tale of the animal's birth, 
which in itself has nothing to do with magic, was as- 
sociated with a magic purpose, with the idea of the 
Origins, and became a magic rune. 

The story of the great oak and of the little man was 
appHed to the origin of pleurisy as it is to that of the 
decay of teeth,^ of the sprite that haunts the stables 
(Iddvdmato), etc.^ There are also other origins of pleurisy 
in which the great oak does not appear ; as there are 
songs which, continuing the story farther back, give 
the origins of the oak itself ; ^ so that Lonnrot, by the 
combination of these and others, has been able to separate 
the whole of this story from its connection with pleurisy 
and all other sicknesses, and to weave the songs into 
the Kalevala, not as magic but as epic lays, relating, 
with others that have to do with the creation, to the 
origin of plants and of cultivation. Now these songs of 
the oak are widely diffused in Finland proper as far as the 
Lapp borders andthe White Sea, where the oak is notfound; 
and they are also diffused through Ingria and Esthonia, 
where it is found,* and where they certainly had their birth. 

1 Loitsurun., p. 276 f. ^ Ibid., p. 293 e. » j^,^,^ p. 332 et seq. 

* Vid. Neus, Ehstn. Volksl, n. 10 : cf. p. 451 ; Kreutzwald u. Neus, 
Mythol. u. mag. Lieder d. Ehsten., n. 2 c, p. 26. The oak was for the 
ancient Esthonians the tree of Taara, their supreme deity. From the oak 

/■ THE EUNE. 307 

These are the songs which, hke those on the origin 
of beer and others, stand in relation to rural and agri- 
cultural festivals in which they are and were sung even 
independently of the magic purpose. Lonnrot understood 
them thoroughly when he introduced them into the epos 
in the guise of epic lays. 

The^inagic song, when it is narrative, easily becomes 
epic._ So great is the continuity between the two that 
a magic, narrative song may come to be used entirely 
as an epic lay, without a magic purpose, and one 
that seems of purely epic character may be used as 
a magic song. Thus the song that tells of the wound 
in Vainamoinen's knee (Kalev., viii., ix.) may serve as a 
magic song to staunch the flow of blood ; that which 
tells of the three heroes' expedition by sea {Kalev., xxxix.) 
to get the Sampo may be reduced to a magic song for 
sailors, etc.^ In this way the magic rune becomes an 
epic rune, magic poetry becomes lay poetry or simply 
poetry. The unity of the form, the ease with which the 
people themselves mix their lays and substitute one for 
another, prove the common origin of the magic and the 
non-magic songs ; but the magic spirit dominates the 
other, as we have seen during our analysis of the epic 
ideals and their genesis : from it the rune was born. 

To recapitulate. This poetry of the runes must have 
begun its existence in the times of the Vikings between 
800 and 1000 ; and tradition has preserved and developed 
it. It is probable that up to that time the Finns had no 
other songs than such as are found among the kindred 

that has been felled there are made, according to the songs of Esthonia 
and Ingria, all kinds of objects, even the bath in which the creator washes 
his son ; cf. Krohn, Siuym. kirjall. hist. , p, 405. The sacred tree of the 
Tavasts mentioned in a bull of Gregory IX. must have been an oak. This 
tree is still found in Southern Finland, although it is not common ; and 
its northern limit appears to have been higher than at present ; cf. 
Ahlqvist, Kalevalan karjalaisuus, p. 128 et seq. 
^ Cf. Loitsurun., p. 157 d. 


Lapps, Voguls, etc., in which form is either non-existent 
or but sHghtly determined. Neither can they have had 
any greater wealth of myth and of poetically fantastic 
tales than these other shamanists have now ; for they 
themselves were then shamanists. But at that date there 
was born among them a form of poetic song that was 
well determined and stable, with an unvarying rhythm, 
style and tone. And since the dominant idea was sha- 
manic, this poetry was the work of the shamans or wise 
men who were also poets, and was hence essentially magic. 
This happened, as we have seen, under Scandinavian in- 
fluence. Hence this poetry, not written, but dependent 
entirely upon tradition and destined to remain traditional, 
this song of magic power, song of men of passion and 
genius (intomiehet) , song of secret knowledge concerning 
the origin of things and creatures, was called niTia ; called 
by a Scandinavian word then already ripe for such a 
meaning, but without the further meaning of mystic 

We have already described the form of the traditional 
rune as it is at present known, and we have observed in it 
an element that may be called archaic, proper to a nascent 
poetry, and an element of art that is more mature.-' The 
use of parallelism must certainly, as others also have ob- 
served,^ have been anterior to versification, as, we may 
also add, must have been the use of consonances at the 
beginnings and ends of words. "We believe that the word 
scle (sake) by which the Finns^ now designate verse, and 
which would appear to mean heap (sdeta, sakedn, to heap 
up), should be referred originally to this more ancient kind 
of rhythmic prose, with its repetitions of sounds and ideas, 
rather than to metric verse. When and by what road the 
Finns reached that metric verse of one, stable form, perfectly 
defined in the number of its syllables, quantities, accents 

^ Vid. sup,, p. 35 et seq. ^ Ahlqvist, Kieletdr, iv., p. 45. 


THE RUNE. 309 

which we now find used in the runes together with more 
ancient elements that have never died out, we cannot say. 
It is a popular verse very common among Latin, Germanic, 
and even Slav peoples; but it is also so simple and so 
natural to the language of the Finns that there is no 
foundation for believing it to be borrowed from another 
people. It perhaps became fixed when the rune, no longer 
exclusively magic, began to be accompanied by the sound 
of the Kantele. 

This poetry, lyric in its imaginations and personifica- 
tions, epic in its creative energy, generated a large amount 
of myth and heroic epic ideals ; but these were magic in 
their essence and quite outside the world of history. In 
the earliest heroic ideals magic action, miraculous enter- 
prise, exclusively predominates : Vainamoinen, Ilmarinen 
or a nameless smith or artificer, the lady of Pohjola, Jou- 
kahainen and the Lapp wizards. Perhaps there is already 
the Sampo ; there are many songs of origins, as those of 
iron, of fire, of beer, etc.; there are those agricultural 
songs in which Sampsa Pellervoinen appears, etc. The 
search for the wife is in any case foreign to this first 
period. Minute analysis shows that this poetry under- 
went much foreign influence in its mythic names, in its 
ideas, in its fantastic incidents ; but a comprehensive 
consideration of it beholds it acting with originality and 
complete independence, both in form and in substance. 

The same may be said of the succeeding historical 
periods. From the eleventh century onwards the Finnic 
people was the object of war, of conquest and of armed 
dispute between Eussians, Swedes, Danes ; it was con- 
quered, dominated, Christianised, socially organised with 
cities of Swedish foundation (Abo, 1157; Tavastehus, 1248; 
Viborg, 1293, etc.) ; yet it succeeded in remaining distinct 
from its conquerors and dominators, never amalgamating 
with them, but preserving its language and with this its 
own manner of poetry pregnant with the pagan myth that 


Christianity was not able to extinguish. Scandinavians, 
Danes and Swedes were at that time entering on a new 
period of poetic production. They were beginning to 
treat after a new manner many ancient subjects of Norse 
poetry which had already, as we see in Saxo, taken on 
among them a peculiar form ; and they were adding new 
themes and new creations, being dominated in all this 
by the romantic and even the chivalric sentiment which 
reached them, as it did others, from the Roman-Germanic 
centre of Europe in the eleventh and following centuries. 
This poetry is called popular, and to a certain extent it is 
so ; for, however it may have been born, it Hved and dif- 
fused itself widely by word of mouth. From the sixteenth 
century onwards it began to be collected and written as 
did that of the Spanish romanceros, the poetry of the bal- 
lads or romances, of the Danish and Swedish Kdmj^eviser, 
Trylleviser, etc. 

With roots less ancient, but with a nature more truly 
popular and therefore more on a level with the Finnic 
rune, there also arose, not without Scandinavian influence 
in its origins, an oral, traditional Russian poetry. The 
power, the energy, the audacious enterprises of Novgorod 
the Great, localised this poetry in the north of Russia and 
gave especial development to the epic song. Its heroes 
were historical rather than mythical. It was a poetry of 
adventure and of incident {byliny), of ancient feats and 
deeds (staryna). It was already in existence in the twelfth 
century, when there appeared under a different form and 
character, and though not of popular origin, yet put together 
with a knowledge of the people's songs, the little poem 
on the facts of the army of Igor {Slovo o polku Igoreva) 
Born in the North, it grew so active and fertile as 
embrace not only the Novgorod events but also those o\ 
Kiev, of Yladimir the Sun Prince, and of the great bogatyri 
of his glorious drit^ina ; and now, having quite vanishec 
from the South, the country where the events took place,] 

THE KUNE. 311 

if indeed it ever existed there, it has returned to its 
place of birth. And the northern region in which these 
ancient Kussian songs most abound and are most 
unchanged is the same in which the poetical tradition 
of the Finns also is best preserved: the government 
of Archangel, and Olonetz from Lake Onega to Lake 

Placed between two different currents of poetry, the 
Scandinavian and Slav, between Latin Christianity on 
the one hand and the Greek-Kussian Church on the other, 
among the more or less surviving paganism of the 
Germans, Lithuanians and Eussians, the Finnic rune yet 
maintained its characteristics unaltered. But it extended 
its field under these outside influences, issuing more and 
more from within the limits of the magic function. The 
runes telling of the search for the bride, of the beauteous 
maiden of Saari, of the adventures of Lemminkainen, 
those of Kullervo, of Aino, of the fishing for the maiden 
of Vellamo, with the woman-types of Aino, Kyllikki, the 
mother of Lemminkainen, etc., are the distinguishing 
features of this new period in which the romantic idea 
makes its appearance. Nevertheless this new idea followed 
a way of its own, tending towards the ideal of the wizard, 
and associating itself with it. Both Lemminkainen and 
Kullervo, although of a type that is essentially foreign 
to the magic song, act as wizards ; Vainamoinen and 
Ilmarinen, types whose essence is in the magic song, go 
out to woo a bride. Lemminkainen comes near being a 
knight-errant. But the poetry is here popular in the most 
absolute sense of the word : every idea of aristocracy is 
wanting, although the Finns saw it around them and 
above them in their foreign rulers ; and warlike valour 
inspires no runes, nor does the woman become the lady. 
Hence Lemminkainen is neither jarl nor riddar, neither 
hnjaz nor hojar nor vitiaz ; he is simply a lieto poika, an 
unstable youth, handsome, lively, pleasing, whose gallantry 


secures him much success with women, after the manner 
of Curilo Plenkovi^ in the Eussian hyliny. The hogatyr, 
however, even when not of noble birth, is essentially a 
warrior, and Lemminkainen would seem one too, with his 
sword, his warhke expedition, his companion in arms 
(sotatoveri) Tieri ; but when he comes to act he stands 
revealed a wizard. Thus the rune, even when it leaves 
its own field, comes back to its proper essence reducing to 
a tietdjd or laulaja the type of hero that elsewhere would 
be a knight, a bogatyr. 

When we compare the rune with the Scandinavian 
visa and the Russian hyliny, we see that, while sometimes 
taking its subject from them and adapting itself to the 
romantic idea, it still works out its material in its own 
way and preserves its independence of form and style. 
Certain pecuharities of poetic usage and of narrative 
phrasing, common to the rune and to Eussian and Scan- 
dinavian poetry, are clear proofs of contact between them. 
Thus the love of blue, which is the colour of the sea, of 
the wood, of the bridge, of Kullervo's or of Ukko's stock- 
ings, and is even the personification of colour (Sinetdr), is 
Eussian, as the word itself, sini, is Eussian. The pleo- 
nastic tuo on (this is) which at the beginning of a line 
constantly precedes a name in the narrative, having simply 
the value of an article {e.g., tuo on vanha Vdindmoinen, this 
is old Vainamoinen, instead of " the old Vainamoinen "), 
finds a constant parallel in the frequent *' och det ar," 
** och det var," similarly used in the visor {e.g., "Och det 
var Froken Elin, Hon dromte i sangen der hon lag," in- 
stead of " Froken EHn dromde i sangen der hon l§,g ").^ The 
use of on (is), as simple padding to the hne without verbal 
or grammatical function of any kind, which is very fn 
quent in the runes {e.g., mies on nousevi meresta, " a mf 
is rose from the sea"), finds a parallel in the Eussif 

^ The damosel Elin dreamed in the bed where she lay. 

THE RUNE. 313 

byliny, where iest, is, is used in the same way.^ But it 
is difficult, in a poetry that is constantly renewing itself, 
to say when these and other common pecuHarities arose. 
The differences are greater than the similarities, even 
when we leave on one side the rune-form which has 
nothing in common with that of the visor or of the byliny. 
Among others we may here note that the rune knows 
nothing of that abuse of the conjunction atid at the be- 
ginning of the line and also of the song, which may be 
used in the visor (och . . ,) and still more in the byliny, 
where we sometimes .have long series of lines, often from 
the very first, all beginning with A (and). 

The extension of the rune and its application to a 
poetry which, in contrast to its early shamanism, may be 
-called lay or profane, must have reached its flood after the 
Swedish Conquest and the introduction of Christianity 
(1151). The new religion necessarily modified the position 
of the rune in the public mind ; not extinguishing it, but 
stripping it of the rehgious value bymeans of which, without 
any other higher idea of a divinity, it once ruled supreme. 
Magic and magic poetry became superstition. The clergy 
disapproved of the rune. They persecuted it as magic, 
and also as poetry because it was full of pagan ideas. But 
the popular mind loved its beauteous daughter tenderly. 
The rune lived ; conscience quieted itself with its usual 
and natural shift, wedding the Christian myth to the 
pagan, combining and confusing pagan divinities and 
daemonic beings with Catholic saints and devils. Tapio, 
Ahti, Vellamo, Tuoni, and the others still exist, but they 
all become creatures of God,^ who is Jumala, is Ukko, 

^ Cf. on this and other padding-words used in the byliny, Hilfer- 
ding, Onezskija byliny, p. xxx. (also in Bussiche Revue, i., p. 324). 

- This, for example, is a magic song of prayer for hunters to Tapio, 
to Mielikki, to the other divinities of the wood : " Christ baptised thee, 
The Omnipotent sprinkled thee with water, On the grassy sward, For a 
guardian of savage beasts ". 


Bman Herra Jestis (lord of the world), is Liioja (creator), is 
the King of Himmerki (Swed. Himmelriiki, kingdora of the 
skies) ; and to the many names of divine and daemonic 
beings there are joined Maria, Juhannes, Kistoppi (Chris- 
topher), Antti Santti (St. Andrew), Santta Pietari, etc. ; 
to Lempo, to Hiisi, and the other maHgnant beings is 
added Paha, the malign being of the Christians (Swed. 
Hin Onde) ; to Tuonela or Manala, Helvetti or the 
Christian Hell (Swed. Helvete). At that time the Fin- 
nic people had not learnt to read ; it heard Christian 
doctrine and evangeHcal story from the priest who 
preaches. To preach meant then to expound, narrate, 
recount, so that the word which up to that time had stood 
for story, tale (saarna), is now exclusively used for sermon.^ 
Christian narrative, thus learnt, underwent a change in 
the popular mind : it mated with ideas of other kinds 
which it found already existing, and gave birth, here 
as elsewhere, to the semi-pagan legend. To this the rune 
is appHed, producing those songs of Christian legend 
mingled with pagan myth, that also occur among the 
Scandinavians.^ One of these is that of the birth of the 
Saviour, so ably used by Lonnrot as an ending for the 

Songs of this kind, which are really runes although 
their sacred subject brings them near to the virsi, were 
composed as far back as the time of CathoHcism. They are 

Sinun on Ristus ristinynna, 

Kaikkivalta kastanunna, 

Keskella metsan ketoa 

Metsan viljan viitsijaksi. 
^ Cf. Rudbek, Om Finnariies Folkdikt i obunden berattande Form.^ 
Helsingf., 1857, p. 8. Some trace of the ancient meaning is, however| 
preserved in a few formulas in the tales ; and the word saama\%&t\\\ use 
in this sense in Russian Carelia ; vid. Borenius, Ltiojan virsi, p. 4 ( Fmt"| 
t&jd, ii., 59). The same fact occurs in the Polish kazanie, sermon, O. SI 
instruction, Russ. skazka (Little Russ. kazka), skazanie, tale, story. 
'^ Cf. Horn, Oesch. d. Literal, d. Skandinav. Nordens., p. 109 et seq. 


THE KUNE. 316. 

natives of the West, where the Swedish capital Abo formed 
the moral, religious and political centre of the county. 
They are not so entirely popular in origin as are the- 
other runes ; but they diffused themselves among the 
people, undergoing various adventures and reaching far-^ 
off lands, even those of the Kussian Church : as runes, 
they followed the fate of the runes. Just as the subject 
of more than one mediaeval ballad was treated at that 
time in rune, and even applied to historical personages ^ 
{e.g., the tragic incident of the tyrant Klas Kurki and 
little Elina) ; so one of the principal records of the in- 
troduction of Christianity, the story of the bishop St. 
Henry, apostle of the Finns, killed by a Finnic peasant,, 
the perfidious Lalli,^ was also sung by the runes. But 
the rune was little applied to historical subjects. The 
Finnic laulaja is, as we have repeatedly said, indifferent 
to history : it does not inspire him. Since the epos has, 
here no connection with national history, the rune is also 
alien to it. The rune is not like the Eussian byliny, 
which, from the ancient bogatyr of the historic cycles of 
Novgorod and Kiev, pass on to tell of deeds and men of 
succeeding epochs. The rune was not appHed to historical 
facts until after the Eeformation (1528). Then began a. 
new period, marked, at least in that part of the country 
which became Lutheran, by a rise in general culture : 
the period in which Finnic became, thanks to Bishop 
Agricola, a written language and the people learnt to- 
read. Neither do the few songs of historical argu- 
ment which Lonnrot has placed in the third section 

1 For all the poetry of those times, of origin popular, semi-popular and 
afterwards not at all popular, vid. Krohn, Suomenkiellinen runollisuus- 
Ruotsinvallan aikana {The Poetry of the Finnic Tongtie doion to the 
Times of the Swedish Rule), Helsingf., 1853. 

^ Kanteletar, iii., n. 28 ; cf. Krohn, op. cit., p. 5 et seq. ; Setala, Piispa 
Henrikin surmavirsi, etc. {The Song of the Death of Bishop Henry, after 
Manuscripts of Last Century) in Lansi Suxrnii (Western Finland), ii., 1890,, 
p. 1 et seq.; vid. also Grotenfelt, in Suomi, 1888, p. 257 et seq. 


of the Kanteletar'^ date from more ancient times. The 
songs of the Kanteletar give, in general, examples of 
the application of the rune to different subjects inde- 
pendently of the magic idea. They date from various 
times ; but it is certain, whatever Lonnrot may say,^ 
that not one of them is prior to the Christian period ; 
not even those whose mythical argument would make 
them appear, as perhaps they did appear to Lonnrot, 
more ancient. One or two, especially such as are most 
entirely lyric, sentimental, subjective, are quite modern. 
Some of the narrative ones, for instance the above- 
mentioned song of the " Death of Elina," although 
bearing the rune form are in the epic-lyric manner, 
dramatised with much dialogue after the style of 
Danish and Swedish visor. After the Reformation, 
and, above all, after the foundation of the University 
of Abo (1640), the influence of Swedish culture became 
stronger and more immediate. It came not only from 
Sweden, but from the very centre of Finland, which 
was Swedish. Swedish then became the literary 
language of the Finns ; and a Swedish-Finnic literature 
arose, of little value at first, but becoming great in 
modern times with Franzen, Snellman and others, and 
above all with Runeberg.^ Popular poetry, too, the tale, 
■SLiid. every kind of Swedish folk-lore settled, with its own 

1 Cf. Porthan, De poesi fennica (in Op. seL), p. 358 et seq. ; Krohn, 
Sumal. runollis., etc., p. 20 et seq. Porthan believes that there were ancient 
historical runes, but that they were lost and forgotten. This is not credible 
in the face of so much other matter that has lived in tradition, and still 
less so after the results of our study on the origins and genius of this 

'"Many of the songs in this collection are perhaps 1000 years old, 
while others cannot be very ancient." Pref. to the Kanteletar, p. xlii. 
^3rd edition). An old woman of eighty said that she had composed one 
song herself when she was a girl ! Ibid. 

3 Vid. Lagus, Den Finsk-Svenska Litteraturens Utveckling, Borg&- 
Ibo. 1866-7. 

THE KUNE. 317 

language, in the centre of Finland.^ Many runes had 
birth in the parts most exposed to those influences ; 
and since the middle of last century, when Porthan, 
Ganander and others brought the national language and 
poetry again into repute, there has sprung up an in- 
dividual poetry, Finnic in language and form, but bearing 
no further likeness to the ancient, traditional rune.''^ And 
the new poetry has become popular, so that some songs of 
the most illustrious of these poets, Paavo Kohronen, are 
found confused with traditional songs and even used with 
a magic purpose. 

It is not difficult to distinguish the old, original and 
traditional rune of the magic and epic songs, the rune 
whose ancient character is well represented in the Kale- 
vala, from all its more modern and even recent offshoots. 
But since the old rune lives in the mind of the laulajat 
together with more modern products of like form, these 
latter have had an influence upon it : many lines have 
passed from more modern into more ancient songs ; and 
the subjects of ballads or of epic-lyric songs of small an- 
tiquity have been introduced among the more ancient 
epic lays. This fact is also represented in the Kalevala ; 
as we have seen in the Aino, and the Kullervo runes and 
others, as well as in the many lines which Lonnrot, 
following the usage of popular singers, has taken from, 
ballads and lyrics and introduced into his poem. 

The rune which, even when not magic, is associated 
with popular festivals of various kinds is not necessarily 
so old as the festivals themselves. The most ancient of 

^ Concerning Nyland, where is now the capital, vid. the Nyldndska 
Folkvisor of Lagus, Helsingf., 1887, in the collection entitled Nyland, 
Here there are also given popular tales and other Swedish folk-lore of his 
province, in which, however, runes are entirely wanting. 

2 A selection of compositions (runes or songs) by eighteen of these poets 
(Kohronen, Lyytinen, Makkonen, Kymalainen, Pyhakka, Naikkonen,. 
etc.), with notices of their lives, has been recently published : Kahdeksan- 
toista Bunoniekkaa valkoima runojaja lauuja, Helsingf., 1889. 


all is probably that which accompanies agricultural fes- 
tivals, for it is nearer to the magic rune and to the 
religious idea of pagan times. ^ The songs for the slay- 
ing of the bear are certainly not of modern origin, but 
neither are they as ancient as the usage doubtless is 
among the Finns. The myth of the Origin of the Bear 
connects these runes with the magic songs, with the 
exorcisms of the bear ; and shows us the road by which 
already in pagan times the rune came to be applied to 
this festivity. Wedding-feasts are accompanied by songs 
composed in rune form, which are also part of the poetry 
of tradition. In addition to the epic rune, sung to en- 
tertain the banqueters, there is the wedding-rune properly 
so called, which is the business of the women. It consists 
of songs for the bride as she takes leave of her mother, 
for the mother to address to the bride, etc.^ The applica- 
tion of the rune to these songs sprang naturally from the 
not very ancient epic theme of the Searchings for a Bride, 
•of the incidents at Saari, of the banquets in Paivola. 
Lonnrot understood this perfectly when he introduced 
them into the Kalevala ; although he substituted Pohjola 
for Paivola on his own authority. Doubtless they are not 
very ancient ; certainly not more so than the Lithuanian 
and Kussian wedding-songs. They are not copies of 
these latter, but they recall their spirit especially in the 
note of sadness ; for they are principally plaintive songs 
(itkurunot), as are also those of Russia.^ There is in 

1 The shepherds' songs given by Lonnrot in the Kanteletar, i., n. 170 
et seq., are modelled on the form and spirit of the rune and have also 
mythic elements in common with the epos and with the magic songs (of 
prayer). There is much that is ancient in them, but also much that is 
modem. The shepherds' songs which Gottlund gives with their melody 
in the Otava, i., 283 et seq., are of his own making and have nothing to do 
with the rune. 

2 Kanteletar, i., n. 126 et seq. 

8 Cf. Stwm. kvrjall. hist., pp. 322 et seq., 832 et seq. Among the other 
Ugro-Finns the Esthonians alone supply us with a parallel to these songs. 

THE RUNE. 319 

the Kalevala one thing that distinguishes these wedding- 
songs from those of Kussia : the instructions or counsels 
given to the bride, to the groom. I cannot say whether, 
or up to what point, Lonnrot has composed these him- 
self; but the application of the rune to proverbs, to saws, 
which are among the elements of some songs, is genuine 
and popular. This is the didactic portion of the tradi- 
tional poetry, and is connected with the magic rune be- 
cause it enters without difficulty into the conception of 
the tietdjd's wisdom; hence old Vainamoinen, the eternal 
tietdjd, becomes the author of many wise sayings. Not 
everything is old in these proverbs and saws, and much 
has also been learnt from other peoples ; but we cannot help 
recognising elements of ancient tradition. Indeed, taking 
them as a whole, they bear the proper and characteristic 
impress of the runes of ancient origin. Among the coun- 
sels given to the bridegroom, for instance, there is a 
maxim modelled after the manner of the so-called Pria- 
mele which finds its parallel in ancient Norse poetry: 
*' Praise the horse on the following day, The bride the 
year after ; Praise the father-in-law the third year. Never 
thyself whilst thou Hvest ".^ In another song the mother, 

Cf. Krohn, ibid., p. 168 et seq. We seem to recognise some echo of them in 
the Syrianian songs and among the Mordvinians, but here also Russian 
influence comes in. That in these songs (as also in those of the Russians) 
marriage is considered rather from the practical, profane, sentimental 
point of view than from the religious or sacramental standpoint, proves 
nothing with regard to their antiquity, any more than do the hints found 
in them at the ancient usages such as the purchase of the bride, traces of 
which have persisted down to quite recent times, even independently of 
the songs. Cf. Ahlqvist, Kalevalan karjalaisuus, p. 93 et seq. ; Neovius, 
Kalevalan kotiperdsta, p. 36 et seq. On the nuptial usages of these peoples 
vid. L. V. Schroeder, Die Hochzeitsgebrduche der Ehsten und einiger an- 
derer Finnisch- Ugrischer Volkerschaften in Vergl. mit denen d. Indogerm. 
Volker., Berlin, 1888. For Russian Carelia vid. Friis, En Sommer i 
Finmarken, russisk Lapland og Nordkarelen, p. 269 et seq. There is, how- 
ever, no good collection of Finnic wedding-songs with notices about them. 
1 Kanteletar, i., n. 40. 


rocking her child, says : " Praise the horse on the follow- 
ing day, The son when his beard has grown, The daughter 
when she is married, Thyself at the end of thy Hfe".^ 
Cruder is the Norse maxim in the Hdvamdl : " Praise the 
day at eventide, The woman when she is burnt (buried), 
The sword when it has been used, The virgin when she 
is married, The ice when you have passed it. The beer 
when you have drunk it ".^ It would be a mistake to refer 
these resemblances, as some have done,^ to prehistoric con- 
tacts between the two peoples. By what road, and when, 
this gnomic formula reached the Finns orally we cannot 
tell ; but it is highly probable that the rune was applied to 
the proverb and to the adage before the introduction of 
Christianity, and that it continued to be so employed in 
Christian times. This we clearly see from some maxims 
reproduced in the Kalevala. 

Still bearing the impress of its more circumscribed 
origins, the rune yet comes to embrace in its stable form 
all the poetry of the Finnic nation, whose only child it is. 
Living outside history, it does not help us to establish 
dates ; but rich in poetic myth, and having attained that 
profane lyricism which renders it conscious of itself, it 
reflects its evolutions in its creations. As the rune is 
one, so also is one the eternal runoja who represents it. 
It embodies his various aspects in Vainamoinen, whether 
as a shaman who creates and produces with the word of 
potent wisdom, whether as one whose name is connected 
with the poetical legend of the birth of Christ, with the 
maxim of Christian stamp. In him is gathered up the 

^ Kanteletar, ii., n. 173. 

2 At qveldi skal dag leyfa, 

Kono er brend er, 

Meki er reyndr er, 

Mey er gefin er, 

Is er yfir komr, 

Ael er drukkit er. Hdvamdl, 80. 
3 B. M. Meyer, Die Altgerman. Poesie, etc., p. 434 et seq. 

THE EUNE. 321 

first poetry of the magic song, the poetry of magic action 
expressed in heroic epos, the poetry of this same action 
applied to the romantic idea of the ballad, so that he goes 
to woo a bride ; and, finally, in him, creator of the Kan- 
tele, is gathered up the feeling which the laulaja has for 
himself and for his song — he is no longer a magician, but 
a singer, a poet. 

The rune, magic or no, is compact of poetry. But in 
this poetry two kinds of efficacy may be distinguished : 
the teratological efficacy of the magic song as such, and 
the aesthetic efficacy of the poetic song. The two effica- 
cies may approach each other. The esthetic effect of the 
song may, with imaginative lyricism, be understood and 
represented as a kind of conjuring or magic, but as a 
matter of fact these are two distinct functions of the rune, 
and are not of equal antiquity. An example of the dis- 
tinction may be found in the type of Vainamoinen appear- 
ing in the songs of the Origin of the Kantele and in others 
more faithful to the primitive idea : in those, for instance, 
of the Competition in Songs with Joukahainen. In the latter, 
where Vainamoinen with his song sinks his adversary into 
the ground and frees him with another song, the song is 
magic : it is a real, true spell. In the former, where his song 
to the sound of the Kantele throws all things and beings of 
nature into ecstasy, lulls to sleep even the rude people of 
Pohjola, as in Pindar the sound of the cithern induces 
slumber in Jove's eagle and in cruel Mars, as in the Niebel- 
ungen the videlaere Volkur sends his Burgundians to sleep 
with the sound of his viol, we find nothing but the aesthetic 
effect, exaggerated to marvellous proportions of poetry and 
of melody. In one case and in the other ideal representa- 
tion is preceded by a lyric preparation for it : the feeling 
the tietdjd has of himself as magician is expressed, as we 
have seen,^ with great emphasis, in the magic songs ; and 
there are also many lyric songs (though these are certainly 
1 Vid. sup., p. 233 et seg. 



less ancient) which express enthusiasm for poetry, and 
the comfort, the pleasure it procures.^ The distinction of 
the two diverse ways of efficacy, formulated as it is in the 
myth on the Origin of the Kantele, cannot be very ancient. 
It is certainly the product of a titoe in which the rune has 
matured much lay poetry without magic scope, but the 
continuity which the people felt to exist between the two 
things is expressed by the use in both of them of the name 
of Vainamoinen. 

The songs that tell of the Origin of the Kantele have 
nothing to do with the magic songs of the Origins ; al- 
though in the objects which are needed, according to 
these songs, to compose the instrument, we recognise 
elements that also occur in other and really magic songs 
of Origins : in that, for instance, on the Origin of Snakes.-' 
They are connected rather with the lyric runes, their 
informing spirit being the lyricism of poetry, song, music. 
The name of Vainamoinen is associated with them be- 
cause the passage is obvious from the wondrous magic 
singer to the singer and player who rouses enthusiasm. 
But in variants which certainly represent a more ancient 
phase of these runes, the maker of the Kantele is a seppa, 
an unnamed smith or artificer ; he who draws marvellous 
sounds from it is not Vainamoinen, but a sohea mies, a 
blind man, the customary Tv<f)X6<i avr)p^ the nameless, 
wandering minstrel of ancient and modem popular poetry.' 
And in truth the Kantele has really nothing to do with 
magic songs, which are never accompanied by any instru- 
ment ; as it has nothing to do with magic in general. 
The magic songs themselves, and the epic songs which 
tell of the magic action of Vainamoinen and others, never 
mention the Kantele. 

1 Vid. sup., p. 20. 2 7^^ Krohn, Smow. kvrjall. hist., p. 461. 

'Thus it is in a fragment collected by Gottlund from among the 
Finnic colonists of Vermland in Sweden and hence more than 300 years 
old. Vid. Krohn, op. ciL, p. 459. 


THE EUNE. 323 

This instrument, which, Hke the lyre or the Greek 
<j)6pfMLy^, becomes a symbol of poetry wedded to music, to 
song, to the dance, and as such is sung in lyric lays, in 
poetical myths of its genesis, is not originally proper to 
the Finns ; it associated itself to the rune only when their 
poetry began to extend itself beyond its magic function. 
Neither has the word Kantele a Finnic root. It exists in 
Esthonian (kannel) and in Livonian (kdndld), but does not 
occur in other Ugro-Finnic tongues.^ In my behef it is 
of Slav origin ; but its form shows that it passed from 
the Slavs to the Finns in fairly ancient times. It is the 
Old Slav gansl (corruption of gandtl), cithern ; the verb 
gansti means cithara canere ; the Polish has gensl, cithern ; 
and the name of the Serbian gusla {gunsla) ^ is of the same 
origin. The Lithuanian hankies, cithern,^ also comes very 
near to kantele. It is in fact the cithern mentioned by 
the Byzantines as an instrument very commonly used 
among the Slavs in ancient times. ^ 

It is therefore a great mistake to suppose, as Castren 
has done, that the poetical story of the Origin of the Kan- 
tele is of extreme antiquity, purely Finnic, brought by the 
Finns from Asia ; neither should we expect to find in it, 
as Krohn has suggested, an echo of the Greek legend of 

^ The Votyaks have an instrument of very much the same kind which 
they call krddz. Vid. Max Buch, Die Wotjaken, p. 80 et seq. They get it 
from the Slavs as they do the violin which they call by the Russian name 
skrypka. The Syrianians have a similar instrument, a horizontal harp 
or cithern, which they call by the Slav name gusjli, and the violin which 
they call gudok {vid. Sjogren, Die Syrjdnen, in Gesavim. Schrift., i., p. 
439), the Russian name (gudok) of a kind of ancient three-stringed fiddle. 

'^ For other Slav words from the same root cf. Miklosisch, Etym. 
Worterb. d. si. spr., s. v. gond, p. 72. Diefenbach also mentions the Slav 
word in connection with the Finnic one, Volkerkunde Osteuropas, ii., pp. 
69, 263. Others have thought of the Latin cantare ; vid. Gottlund, Otava, 
i., p. 271 et seq. 

^ Thus Kurschat in his Litt. Worterb. ; others write kaknlai ; Vecken- 
atedt, Die My then der Zamaiten, i., 158, has konklas. 

* Vid. Krek, Einl. in. d. slav. Literaturgesch., p. 874 et seq. 


Orpheus that has reached the Finns through the Byzan- 
tines. The Finns, who had already produced the rune and 
extended it to non-magic songs, may have received the 
Russian hylin, w^hich extolled, in the story of Sadko, 
merchant of Novgorod, the power of the guzla, to whose 
music danced the king of the sea ; they may have received 
the Scandinavian saga which related how Gunnar, lying 
bound in the ditch of serpents, tamed their fury and held 
them at a distance, fascinating them by the sound of the harp 
which he played with his feet ; may have received also the 
Lithuanian tale that tells the origin of music and how the 
lyre was brought to earth from heaven, the cithern {hon- 
klas) ^ stolen from the supreme god Purkanas. These, and 
other similar narratives of the neighbouring peoples, cer- 
tainly had their influence; and traces of it may be seen in 
some particulars of the rune, e.g., in the striking of Vaina- 
moinen's ship against the pike, which corresponds in the 
Russian byliii to the striking of the ship of Sadko, held 
back by the king of the sea. But the laulajat have then 
followed, as they always do, their own inspiration and 
poetical resources in imagining the formation of the Kan- 
tele and in describing its effect. It is, however, well to 
draw attention here to a fact in Scandinavian poetry 
which corresponds to this less ancient evolution of the 
rune as represented in the songs of the Origin of the 

Ancient Norse poetry often extols the power of the runa 
as a mystic sign, or also as galdr or magic song, as we 
have seen above ; but never as music. Later on we find 
in the Danish and Swedish visor that same extension 
of meaning, that we have observed in the Finnic rune 
as apparent in the Origin of the Kantele. The rune is 
accompanied by the harp ; its ancient aesthetic charm, its 
word of secret wisdom, becomes music, song, the irresist- 

1 Op. cit., p. 463. 

^ Veckenstedt, op. cit., i., 168 et seq. ; ii., 256. 

THE RUNE. 325 

ible voice of the Siren. Thus, in the ancient ballad, Dan- 
ish as well as Swedish, of Sir Tynne (Kiddar Tynne),^ 
Ulfva, the dwarf's fair daughter, attracts the knight as he 
is out hunting. She fascinates him, and wins his love with 
the sound of the harp, whose effects are described like those 
of the Kantele played by Vainamoinen. All nature is car- 
ried out of itself — animals, men, plants, flowers : the beasts 
of the wood forgot to leap, the little bird on the branch 
forgot to sing, the grey falcon of the forest spread its 
pinions, the fish stayed still in ecstasy and thought no 
more of swimming, the meadow put forth flowers and 
grew green with leaves at that charmed touch. Sir Tynne 
spurred his horse, but it could not move, and the horse- 
man dismounted and went, all fascinated, to beg the fair 
Ulfva for her love.^ The wondrous harp-playing that 
produces these effects, is here and in some other ancient 
visor, e.g., the Danish Harpens hraft (Grundtvig, ii., n. 40), 
called rune-slag (ronner slag), and at the end of each verse 
there is the refrain I styrer vdll de Runor (Dan. Styrer y 

^ Geier o. Afzelius, Svenska Folkvisor, n. 7 ; Grundtvig, Danmarks 
gamle Folkeviser, ii., n. 34, Cf. Uhland, Schriften, iv., p. 262 et seq. ; 
Keightley, Fairy Mythology, p. 97 ; Prior, Ancient Danish Ballads, iii., 
p. 9 et seq. (n. 102). 

Uhland also {Schriften, vi., p. 254) draws attention to this meaning of 
the rune in the Scandinavian ballad, in connection with Vainamoinen's 
playing of the Kantele. 

2 We give here one of the Danish texts. 

Saa slog hun de roner-slag 

att harpen saa vel maatte klinge. 

De vilde diur, y skofiuen var 

forglemtte at de skulle springe. 

Fouglen, de paa quisten saadt, 

forglemtte at hand skulle sjunge: 

den liiden falk, udi lunden lac, 

handt breder ut medt sin vinge. 

Der blomstris mark, der loefivis riiss, 

det kunde de ronner saa vende: 

herr Tonne sin ganger medt sporer stack, 

handt kunde dock icke undrende, etc. 


saa vel de roimer), rule well the runes. The same effect 
of charm attributed here to the sound of the harp is 
ascribed in almost identical words to song in other ballads, 
e.g., in the Danish '* The. Hill of the Elves " (Elveh6j).i 

The Origin of the Kantele, therefore, far from express- 
ing a national idea of extreme antiquity, only represents 
a less ancient phase of the poetry, the rune of the Finns 
— a phase which corresponds with the more recent mean- 
ing that the word runa itself took on among the Scandi- 
navians. This phase, which closes the development of 
the rune, was reached more than three centuries ago ; as 
is proved by the songs of the Finnic colonists of Verm- 
land. We have therefore preferred to discuss it here 
rather than where we were treating of the myths. And 
with these observations on the runes which tell of the 
Origin of the Kantele we close our history of the hfe of 
the rune. 

^ Grundtvig, Damn, gamle Folkev., ii., n. 46 ; Prior, Anc. Dan. Ballads, 
iii., n. 136. The old visor still preserve the meaning, however, of the magic 
sign which remained alien to the Finns ; thus, for example — 

leg vill giffve dig guode guldt-bandt 

de ere y ronner dragen : 

hver den ord, du talle skall, 

ditt falder som ditt var skrefiven. 
(I will give thee a good girdle, and it shall contain such runes that every 
word thou shalt utter shall be as though it were written). Grundtvig, op. 
cit., ii., n. 34 (p. 17, v. 39) ; cf. n. 79, n. 80, etc. 




We have examined, expounded and defined the manner in 
which the Kalevala was composed, the elements that have 
conspired to form it, the how, the when, the where of its 
birth, the phases undergone by the poetry which has 
generated its material and its form. We can now place 
it side by side and compare it with the national epics of 
other peoples ; we can make deductions from it regarding 
the general laws that naturally govern the birth and growth 
of large poems of similar nature. 

The Kalevala is a poem inferred and put together by 
Lonnrot from the whole of the popular, traditional poetry 
of the Finns, and this poetry has but one unvarying form. 
Hence the poem is unique ; a fact which does not repeat 
itself in the poetry of any other people. Outside of it 
there is nothing in Finnic poetry which could furnish 
another poem. The Homeric poems, the Niebelungen, 
the Chanson de Eoland are not unique. They have 
their places in a period of production of numerous large 
poems, or in one in which national poetry has already 
elaborated and matured much material for such poems ; 
and the same may be said of the Mahabharata, of the 
Eamajana, of the Sciahnameh. The epic songs of other 
peoples who never reached the point of having large 
poems, as, for instance, the Russians, Servians, Kelts, 
Siberian Tatars, ancient Scandinavians and others, do 
not converge towards one poem ; but if ever they had 


reached or should reach the maturity of large composi- 
tions they would give many poems of different subjects. 
That a whole popular, traditional poetry, living and bring- 
ing forth for centuries, should come to furnish the material 
for one single poem is a strange and abnormal pheno- 
menon. Confronted with such a fact we have the right of 
doubting whether the poem can be defined as a popular 
production, collective and not individual ; as is without 
doubt the poetry from which the poem was composed. 

The subject-matter of the Kalevala is altogether 
mythical, although certainly not mythic-symbolical, as 
some have thought. The scientific chimera, now fallen 
into disrepute, of a mythic symbolism illustrating the 
struggle between hght and darkness, between winter and 
summer and the like, is no less a chimera for the Kalevala 
than it is for other poems to which it has been apphed. 
It results from our researches that in this poetry of the 
Finns the daemonic myth is naturalistic, personifying 
poetically things and facts of nature ; that it remains, how- 
ever, incompletely developed, unorganised, certainly not 
arriving at symbolisation. The heroic myth is born from 
that same shamanic poetry of the magic songs which 
creates daemonic myth ; but it has nothing to do with the 
things and facts of nature. In it shamanic poetry idealises 
poetically in heroic personalities its own special type of 
man, the wizard ; and it idealises him either by creating 
personages of its own, e.g., Vainamoinen, Ilmarinen, or 
by adapting to the type personages of various origin, 
e.g., Lemminkainen and even such as were originally 
personifications of naturalistic intent, e.g., Kullervo 

With the small development of the daemonic myth in 
an anthropomorphic direction corresponds a similar in- 
completeness in the development of the heroic myth. As 
the former never reaches the idea of an organised society 
of divine beings, but remains in its primitive individualism, 


so does individualism dominate in the latter also : a few 
heroes act on their own account, no peoples or social 
masses appear in collective action or in conflict. Hence, 
although the Kalevala must be classed, having regard to 
the genesis of its poetry, with those poems which were 
born of a polytheistic idea, it yet differs from these in the 
immaturity of its myth : it is wanting in the continuity 
which they display between the poetical history of the 
gods and the poetical history of men and heroes. This is 
equivalent to saying that the epos is here not mature ; 
because, since the myth is nothing but poetry, the latter 
cannot be ripe when the former is not. 

Another anomaly presented by the Kalevala, as com- 
pared with the epics of other peoples, is its indifference to 
history. The hero is a wizard, not a warrior as he is 
wont to be in all other great epics ; heroic action is of 
individual interest, not general, not national. True, the 
Eape of the Sampo might be said to be, or at least seem to 
be, of national interest ; but where is the nation, where the 
peoples in the Kalevala, in its ill-defined world, which, 
since it lacks coherent social organisation, is inevitably de- 
void of history ? Historical, as we have seen, is the early 
shamanism, and the rivalry between Lapps and Finns in 
magic might ; but this is expressed rather subjectively as 
a sentiment permeating the whole of the poetry, than 
objectively, as a fact constituting the definite subject of 
the poem. In other national epics the action, although it 
may be wholly or partly fantastic, is seen, felt, and repre- 
sented in the historical life of the nation. The historic 
feehng is accentuated and strengthened in proportion as 
the epic-lyric song passes into the large epic composition, 
the very breadth of whose conception proves that it is 
intended to be monumental. Sigurd is still mythic in the 
epic-lyric songs of the Edda, but no sooner does he become 
in the Niebelungen the hero of a great epic, than he acts 
as a historical hero, in historical surroundings ; exactly as 


in the same or in other poems do Etzel, Dietrich, Ermen- 
rich, who are in fact the Attila, Theodoric, Hermanrich of 
history. From the epic-lyric song Scandinavian poetry 
does not pass to the- large poem but to the saga. This 
also is poetical history, but being in the form of prose it 
assumes the appearance, the tone, the movement of real 
history. Even the divine myth, the doings of the gods, 
which the polytheistic epos relates, are conceived and re- 
garded historically, not only in the likeness of human 
history but as a continuation of it, in the whole formed 
by the poetical history of gods and men. Thus gods are 
national as the heroes are national. All this does not 
prevent the Kalevala from being a national epic. It is as 
exclusively national and Finnic as is the poetry which it 
gathers into itself. Born in and for the elementary society 
that is foreign to historic action, there is little wonder that 
historical feeling should not vibrate in it, should not in- 
spire it. But this applies to the poetry of the popular 
lays. As to the poem, the anomaly we have spoken of 
is so grave that it leads us to doubt whether as a poem 
it can be considered a national product : if, that is, a 
poetry still so simple, adapted to a society so elementary, 
still ignorant of the great endeavours, conflicts and sor- 
rows of historic peoples, can have ripened by itself into 
a great epic poem. The doubt is all the more permissible 
that peoples much more advanced and historical have 
not reached this point : we find among them epic songs 
displaying historical feeling and having a historical subject, 
but not long poems, nor songs so moulded as to be capable 
of forming such poems by combination. This is seen in 
the living poetry of several Slav, Keltic and other peoples ; 
seen also in the ancient Spanish romances of the Cid (the 
Cid as an epic is not of popular origin, nor woven out of 
these romances), and in the heroic songs of the Edda. 
Neither did the Sigurd saga, which lived for centuries ii 
Norse popular poetry, ever become a poem ; it was dii 


covered in our own days in the Faroe Isles still in the 
song stage. 

The songs of which the Kalevala is composed are 
popular as is the poetry of no epic national poem. They 
are popular in the full meaning of the term. They are so 
because their poetry is still natural, and the tendency 
towards art, visible in the determining of a stable form, 
has yet remained in a rudimentary condition. They are 
so because this poetry springs from a simple, primitive 
society which it reflects, a society formed of the populus, 
in which there is no distinction of classes. This poetry 
should not be confounded with that popular poetry which 
coexists with literary poetry, distinct from it as being the 
work of the illiterate, but feeling its influence. It is more 
virgin than this latter can ever be, for it has no literary 
poetry beside it ; it belongs, on the contrary, to the na- 
tural period which precedes literary production. Poetry 
being a natural growth, all literary poetry, since it follows 
rules of art, is preceded by a poetry of nature which may 
also be called popular. This is born spontaneously ; it 
grows unconsciously, creates, develops, defines its form 
and its substance and ends by ripening into a self-con- 
scious art. To become art it has no need of letters, of 
books, of schools. These things are but external acci- 
dents. Art is produced independently of them ; its way 
is natural and empirical, not theoretical. It teaches 
itself ; its school is the experience of life. And although 
this development is brought about by collective, anony- 
mous labour, so that the epithet popular can still be 
applied in this sense to the product, yet the distinction 
between popular poetry and the poetry of art then evapo- 
rates and is lost. As soon as poetry, having become an 
art with definite forms, rules, resources, aspires to a 
higher and more complex production, it places itself 
beyond the reach of men in general, and requires for its 
exercise vocation, talents, knowledge that all do not 


possess. The circle of its cultivators narrows. They 
become a class, and the genius of the individual is 
revealed in products no longer collective but personal. 
This is the point at- which poetry appears on the horizon 
of history with works ripe for a stability that renders 
them monumental. This is the point at which the Ho- 
meric poems show themselves, the poems of the Latin 
Germanic Middle Ages, and we may say all great national 
«pics. More clearly than elsewhere does this natural law 
appear in Greece, whose poetry sprang up and developed 
freely according to its own nature without perturbing 
influences as in other places. The first historical manifes- 
tations of the Greek peoples are the Homeric poems, 
which, products of an art already highly matured and 
perfected, stand at the head of all succeeding Greek art, 
and form its primary canon. What preceded them we do 
not directly see ; but their artistic entity is defined by 
their visible relationship to what follows : to the tragedy 
of ^schylus, to the highest productions of Greek poetry. 
It is therefore an absurd abuse of terms to call their 
poetry, as many do, a natural and popular poetry, and 
to contrast it as such with the poetry of art. 

The Finnic rune is still very far from this last, definite 
phase, in which natural and popular poetry, having arrived 
at the dignity of an art, rises above the epic song or lay 
to the great epic icorh, the ejjopoia. Its poetry is still so 
entirely collective in origin that the publication of the 
original songs with all their variants will be the most 
positive proof we possess that popular poetry is collec- 
tive : a fact more often affirmed in the abstract thai 
clearly conceived and understood. Although the rune'j 
life has been long, the art of the laulajat has remain( 
stationary ; and in that primary elementary stage in whicl 
it is still accessible to all, it forms the special prerogatii 
■of no special class. It is a poetry of short flights, still h 
irom large conceptions ; the epic song itself is still buj 


little removed from the epic-lyric. There is a stable form, 
primitive, as we have seen, in its use of consonances and 
parallelisms, which seems mature in the verse ; but this 
form, easy, short, rapid, is rather adapted to an epic-lyric 
or to a lyric song than to a large, fundamentally epic 
composition. Not only does the Imdaja know no large 
poem, but he does not seem able to imagine one. What 
he can understand is a very long song, or rather a long" 
series of lays sung one after the other in any sort of 
order, so as to last whole nights through. He under- 
stands, however, the combination of the runes in varioua 
manners, and he combines them often and with pleasure. 
This is a fact of some consequence, as it would appear to 
prove a movement towards larger compositions, whose- 
web might be woven and wrought by the continued use of 
the habit of partial composition. It is on this that Lonn- 
rot's idea hinges when, as he combines the mass of runes, 
into a poem, he conscientiously says that he has done 
nothing but what the popular singers themselves do ; and 
it is a fact that the greater part of the combinations he 
has made are authorised by some popular example. 

The study of the composition of which we are speak- 
ing is very instructive already in the published part of 
the Variants, and it will be still more so in the complete- 
publication. We find there an example of the work of 
the rhapsodist, not after the production of the epic, for 
this we have already seen in the vicissitudes of several 
poems in popular use; but before, nay, long before, when 
matter and form are still not ripe for the long poem. In 
the mobility, elsewhere described, of a poetry that is quite 
impersonal and common to all, lines, groups of lines and 
whole songs are combined in a hundred ways at the arbi- 
trary will of the singer. But they combine for the most 
part momentarily, unstably ; they do not converge towards- 
one, determined, clearly defined subject, which may be- 
come the central fact of a large epic narrative. We have 


before us that combination or composition of various 
songs made by singer Vassili which suggested to Lonn- 
rot the idea of combining the runes into a poem ; ^ and it 
is in reality, as Krohn also observes,^ nothing but a 
characterless medley, without head or tail. By combin- 
ing songs in that way one might get as long a rigmarole 
as one liked, but one would not get a poem. The best 
example of rhapsodic work is the song of the Sampo from 
the government of Archangel. In it we find two songs 
which exist separately, that of the Creation and that of 
the Eape of the Sampo, combined and cemented by means 
of an intermediate part which tells of the Making of the 
Sampo ; and this part does not exist as a separate song, 
but was put together for this special purpose out of ele- 
ments drawn from other songs. This composition, which 
is certainly the work of one singer, has a certain amount 
of stability, for several singers learnt it, made it their 
own, and repeated it, though with variations. It has, 
however, never left the circle of the singers of the govern- 
ment of Archangel ; and it is not very ancient, since, as 
Krohn observes (p. 550), the families of the singers among 
whom it is found have not been settled there for more 
than the last two centuries. We have given a copy of 
this song in its entirety above. Every reader can easily 
judge for himself whether popular elaboration could make 
a song of this form into the nucleus of a large poem. It 
is true that there is an ulterior combination which seems 
to promise a further development of the song. Several 
other songs are found combined with it in the government 
of Archangel itself, e.g., those of the Origin of the Kantele, 
of the Descent into Tuonela, of the Bivalry for the Bride, wi< 
the Golden Maiden and sometimes with the Competition it 
Song between Vainamoinen and Joukahainen. More treA 
quent, however, are the combinations of a few small,] 

1 Vid. sup., p. 13. 2 Su&ni. Kirjall. hist., p. 380. 


separate songs ; e.cj., the above-mentioned one of the 
Sampo with the Origin of the Kantele, or the Wooiiig of the 
Maidcfi tuho sits on the Rainbow, the Wound in Vdindmoinen' s 
knee and the Origin of the Kantele, or else the Visit to Vipu- 
nen and the Origin of the Kantele} But these rhapsodies 
are never, nor do they tend to be, of great length. They 
present great variableness and instabihty : every singer 
makes or may make them at his ov^n will ; although the 
combinations of one singer are often accepted and repeated 
by several others. We can perceive no unity in them, 
trace no thread which should connect or tend to connect 
them. When we study them closely, as we can do in 
the Variants, we see that they are for the most part put 
together roughly, without even any attempt at coherence 
in connecting the songs, without any predominating idea ; 
so that they are often disorderly medleys like that of 
Vassili mentioned above, and many others. 

We can understand that this method of the popular 
singers, v/hen seen from the outside, when regarded under 
the form of an abstract definition, should suggest the 
idea of a poem latent in the mass of songs ; or of the 
possibiHty of working the songs up into a poem, by con- 
necting them as the singers do. But when we come 
to facts, we find Lonnrot himself saying ^ that although, 
in composing a poem on these lines, using the same 
liberty that the singers do in connecting the songs, 
account must certainly be taken of the combinations al- 
ready effected, yet one cannot attach much weight to 
them, as they are so very various. And in fact to try 
to keep account of them and to follow them would be 
like trying to follow the windings of the labyrinth with- 
out Ariadne's clew of thread. Nevertheless, nay, thanks 
exactly to this immense variety, Lonnrot has been able to 
put together his poem; almost always finding means of 

1 Vid. Krohn, <yp. ciL, p. 381. ^ y^^. g^p., p. 167. 


justifying his combinations with some popular example. 
And the instability, the confusion is in fact such in the 
mass of songs of every kind, that he to whom the good 
is as the bad, the. more genuine as the more corrupt, can 
make no combination for which some model does not 
exist or may not exist to-morrow if it has not been found 
to-day. Thus, to recall one example among many : to 
connect the Kullervo runes with the others of the Kaleva 
it 'was necessary that the smith's wife killed by Kullervo 
should be Ilmarinen's wife. This could be done, and not 
arbitrarily, because some variants, rare, it is true, call the 
smith Ilmarinen. Yet, according to the songs, that smith 
was not Hmarinen, and that woman was not the Maiden 
of Pohjola whom Ilmarinen had married ; so that no 
song, and hence not even the Kalevala, tells of the hos- 
tilities between Ilmarinen and Kullervo, which might be 
expected to result from the murder. 

The songs known by a good singer are numerous. 
Arhippa knew more than fifty, making in all about 4600 
lines. Sissonen knew about eighty, which, however, only 
gave a little over 4000 hnes. An old woman in Esthonia 
recited about 700 songs, but short ones, with a total of 
about 15,000 lines. The best laulajat, says Krohn,^ know 
without doubt all or almost all the songs from which the 
Kalevala is made up ; but in a shorter form, for Lonnrot 
has developed the variants he selected with additions 
taken from others. For the most part they sing each 
song separately, and the order in which the songs suc- 
ceed each other is altogether indifferent, arbitrary, vari- 
able. Runes rhapsodically combined and connected never 
give a song of more than 400 or 500 lines in length. 
Neither does the singer himself, when he connects songs, 
always connect them in the same manner. Thus, for] 
instance, Sissonen, in 1846, sang to Ahlqvist in connection 

1 Op. cit, p. 380. 


the beginning of the Visit to Vipunen, Vdindmoinen's Wound, 
Lemminhciinen s Singing, the Origin of the Oak and the Bajoe 
of the Sampo. The year before he had sung the first three 
together and the last one quite separately.^ In spite of the 
number of songs he knows by heart, and his habit of group- 
ing some of them in connection, no singer thinks of a large 
composition ; just as he never thinks that those songs may 
be parts of a whole. If a singer, when he recites a song, says 
that it formed part of " an ancient, very long song," this 
must be explained, as we said before,^ as referring to an 
identity in the hero or some other unity or likeness of 
subject which many songs treat, so that they can be sung 
one after another. Although some songs open by saying : 
** Now it is time to speak of Ahti " (Kalevala, rune xi., v. 1), 
that does not mean that this song forms a part of a con- 
tinuous narrative, as Krohn has thought ; ^ but it is a way 
of beginning a new song after others of a different subject, 
or even by itself. Some magic songs begin ex ahimpto 
in the same manner,^ and among the songs of the Edda 
there are also some that commence in this way.^ 

As a counterpoise to all that we have been observing 
and arguing hitherto we have the fact of the Kalevala, 
a large poem actually existing, put together by Lonn- 
rot from the songs of the people without any essential 
inventions or additions. The fact that the poem could 
be composed in this way means that the songs of the 
people were already ripe thereto ; nay, it means that 
the poem already existed in them, although the popu- 
lar singers were not aware of it, or had not thought 
of collecting it into a continuous whole. Here then is a 

^ FwZ. Krohn, KaUvalan toisinnot, p. 77. 

2 Vid. sup., p. 45. ^ Suom. kirjall. hist., p. 15. 

* E.g. : Nyon aika arvan kdyd, Miehen merhkid kysyd (Now it is time 
to cast the lots, to ask the signs of man). Loitsurun., p. 112 b. 

^ Mdl er at thylia thular stdla (It is time to speak of the seat of the 
■wise man). Loddfafnirsmdl (in the Hdvamdl, iii.). 

. 22 


positive example of that origin of the greater epic com- 
positions in minor songs which had been supposed by 
many. Lonnrot is hence the Homer of Finland, not the 
Homer-poet of old literary tradition, but the Homer- 
collector, the Homer-commission of Peisistratos, of the 
Wolfian and Lachmannian theory. So it would appear, 
and yet if after having studied the songs in their essence 
we pass on to consider who Lonnrot is, and to study his 
poem at close quarters, we not only see that all this is a 
hallucination, but we come to see the vanity of the theory 
that would explain in this way the origins of the great 
national epic cycles. 

Those who have thought that ancient epics of this kind 
are a mechanical agglutination of songs originally pro- 
duced by an anonymous collective poetry, fall into an 
error which we may define as an anachronism. They 
attribute to the men among whom those great composi- 
tions have appeared, ideas and proceedings that cannot 
belong either to their condition or to their time. The con- 
ception and execution of a mosaic with poetical materials 
not one's own, the putting them together externally, 
passively, mechanically, is very natural to a grammarian, 
to a philologist of our century, subjected to the laws of 
science as it now exists ; but it is quite alien to the nature 
of men among whom creative poetry still lives, of men of 
the class among whom this poetry lives and propagates 
itself. It is absurd and puerile to think that any one 
should set himself to the arid task of collecting and 
pasting together traditional songs, remaining himself 
inert and passive the while, at a time when poetry 
reigned supreme, when even the thinkers were poets — the 
Orpheans and the Pythagoreans of the commission of 
Peisistratos as well as Solon himself This applies to 
Homer and to the Homerids as it applies to the jongleiirSy 
to the bards, to the ancient skalds, as it applies to the 
Vy^sas, to the VMmlkis, to the Firdusis. The idea is 


good in so far as it defines as personal the composition of 
every great poem put together, as is supposed, from col- 
lective songs ; but it is erroneous in so far as it supposes 
the composer to be a simple collector and paster, not a 
poet. In proportion as the epic songs unite to form a 
wide, well-defined and stable organism, strictly popular and 
collective work is lost sight of, while the work of the indi- 
vidual is accentuated and brought to light. But the use 
of the elements already elaborated collectively will vary 
essentially according to whether the individual belongs or 
not to the class of popular singers, has or has not the same 
degree or kind of culture and poetical practice as they have, 
is or is not acquainted with history and with the work of 
science. The Kalevala, as a poem, is a personal work of! 
Lonnrot's But his great knowledge of the songs and 
methods of the laulajat and his familiarity with them 
allow him to put himself on a par with the popular 
singers ; so that his special individuality in this work 
being eliminated, the poem may be looked on as put to- 
gether by a laulaja,^ who combines the songs as so many 
others do, but who combines them better, more ex- 
tensively and more completely. This laulaja, however, is 
not a poet, he simply repeats and puts together the songs, 
adding to them nothing of his own. And this in fact was 
Lonnrot's aim, for he compares his own work to that of 
the diaskevast or of the diaskevasts of the Homeric songs. 
Yet there is an enormous distance, and that not only of time, 
between him and those who put together the Homeric 
poems. The ancient composer orders the epic material 
and production as a poet, not as a scholar : he has no law 

^ Up to this point the definition given by Radloff of Lonnrot's work is 
correct, Proben d. Volkslitter. d. tUrk. Stamme Sild-Sibiriens, v., p. xxii. ; as 
is also true that, as he says on p. xxiv., " das Abfassen eines Epos nur ein 
Mann unternehmen kann der selbst ein Volksdichter^ ein epischer Sanger 
seiner Zeit ist ". But Radlofi forgets that Lonnrot is also, and above all, a 


of scientific conscientiousness to reduce his work to that of 
a collector of the present day, to forbid him to redo what 
has been already done, to work up, to add, to compose, to 
create. He still belongs to the period of epic creation, he 
lives in a time in which poetical production has advanced 
towards maturity, in which the unconscious and anony- 
mous poetising of the people has already developed into 
a work of art and become individual. Lonnrot, on the 
contrary, is above all a modern scholar, conscientious and 
careful of details, who collects songs and variants by the 
hundred, makes them his own, combines them, and com- 
poses a poem. To this he will not give his name ; nay, he 
is anxious it should be thought altogether of the people, 
asserting that he has put into it nothing of his own, 
not even that which is most evidently his : the work of 
composition in which he believes himself to have been 
constantly guided by the popular singers themselves. He 
thinks that he has done neither more nor less than a 
popular singer would do, and forgets that beyond the mass 
of songs there is in his mind far more than there is in the 
mind of a popular singer : among other things the idea of 
a great epic composition, the example of which was known 
to him, but of which none of those singers had or could 
have the faintest conception. It is easy to make an 
abstract formula from facts seen at a distance, and to say: 
the poem was already latent in the popular songs, although 
the people was not conscious of it.^ When one comes 
close to the fact and considers it as we have considered it, 
one finds that the poem is neither latent nor manifest in 
the people's songs ; nay, that it cannot be in them from 
the very nature of the poetry and its stage of development. 

1 Steinthal, Das Epos {Zeitschr. f. Volkerpsychologie, v.), p. 38 : " Das 
also ist das Wunder : Niemand wusste von der Einheit, und doch war sie 
da; sie lebte in den Liedem die man sang, ohne dass irgend wer das 
Bewusstsein von ihr hatte ". Unhappily das Wuiider cannot have in 
scientific thought the same credit it enjoys in alien Maeren, 


And here come in the observations we have made above. 
Matter for a poem there may be, but the poem must be 
put together by the individual ; the material exists, as it 
exists, and much better defined, in the Sigurd songs in 
the Edcla, where there is no poem. The rhapsodic work 
of the lattlajat does not contain, as we have seen, any 
germ of an epic composition. Far from being able to 
reach this last stage which presupposes and requires a 
continual improvement in art and a continually increasing 
creative power, this rhapsodic work gives evidence of the 
period of confusion that accompanies the enfeebling of a 
life about to set, that is the precursor of the dying out of 
these songs amid the changes that have taken place in the 
national life. 

It is true that Lonnrot has composed the poem with- 
out using anything beyond the songs of the people. But 
we have described his method. It is such as would 
bring doubt to the minds of those who see, in ancient 
national epics, a mechanical pasting together of independ- 
ent songs. Lonnrot is much more than a simple stringer 
of songs. To make the poem he has been obhged to 
break up many of them and to distribute their various 
parts here and there according to his conception of the 
poem ; he has had to keep before him all the variants 
of the songs from every place, or at least as many of them 
as he could procure ; and from among all these to de- 
termine, himself, the fundamental text of each song, not 
taking into account the greater excellence, genuineness, 
antiquity of each variant, but basing his selection on 
what, in the songs, might prove most useful to him in 
the weaving of the poem he wished to make. And this 
was not enough. With the epic songs alone he would 
never have put together the poem. The unity of form 
which marks every kind of traditional poetry among the 
Finns, on which we have dwelt, not without reason, from 
the very beginning of this work, has allowed him not only 


to fasten together the epic songs into a poem, but also to 
represent in it and to gather up into it all the traditional 
poetry of the Finnic people. If the magic, lyric, epic- 
lyric songs had been in form and character very different 
from the epic songs, he would certainly not have been 
able to compose the poem. The fact that he was able to 
introduce songs of every kind and to represent all bis 
traditional poetry in one single poem, shows that there 
is a great poetical unity or uniformity in all that mass 
of songs, but it also shows that a defined and definable 
poem does not there exist. So much so that, proceeding 
as Lonnrot has done, we could combine the variants in 
as many ways as we liked, all different from his. 

If we observe carefully the path Lonnrot has been 
obliged to follow in order to put together his poem out 
of the short songs, we shall feel how absurd it is to think 
that a Greek of the times of Peisistratos or of more 
ancient times, that a jongleur or even one of those monks 
of the Middle Ages who loved to collect and write down 
popular songs, should have conceived, undertaken, effected 
a similar work. Such a proceeding is not conceivable even 
for an Indian of those long periods, also times of learning, 
speculation and even of grammar, in which the enormous 
Mahabharata was formed by continual accretions. The 
diaskeve, whose ideal author is Vyasa, is a very different 
thing from the work of Lonnrot. 

A study of the Kalevala and of its composition, which we 
now well understand, also shows what can be expected 
from those principles and criteria in accordance with 
which it was thought possible to recognise and distinguish, 
in the ancient poems, the various songs of which they 
were supposed to be built, and even to re-establish 
the texts of these songs. It would certainly seem very 
much easier to do this here than in the ancient poems to 
which the theory was applied ; for the absence of strict 
unity, the weakness of the bonds, is here very muc 


clearer. And yet how far from the truth would he 
wander who should think to recognise and re-estabhsh 
by this inductive method the songs which build up the 
poem. And he would become aware of this if he com- 
pared his results with the facts we have now before us. 
Nevertheless, Lonnrot, while using his rights as a popular 
singer and putting himself on a par with the laulaja in 
his work, has still adopted the methods of a modern 
scholar, making it a rule to invent and to add nothing of 
his own : a rule which no ancient poem-maker and no 
laulaja would have thought it his duty to lay on himself. 
Hence that lack of continuity, of consistency in the action 
of the poem, which in spite of the efforts of Lonnrot, 
hampered by his conscientiousness, plainly shows that 
it was built of scattered elements. 

Is there any unity in the Kalevala ? The discussion 
of these epics invariably leads to the question^; and it is 
generally answered differently according to the opinion 
held on the origin of the poems. Following out our new 
theories, we have come to ask whether there is unity in 
the Iliad and the Odyssey, and even to receive from some 
scholars a negative answer : a question and a reply which 
would have mightily astonished ^Eschylus, Aristotle, the 
Alexandrine critics and all the ancients, who were not as 
illuminated as we are. And even those who admit the 
unity go on to define it in one way or another in accord- 
ance with the variety of theory they put forth regarding 
the origin of the poem. The same thing occurs in the 
case of the Kalevala : among Finnic scholars themselves 
some say yes, some no. It is true that no one has gone 
so far as an absolute negative, as no one has ventured 
on an absolute affirmative ; but various definitions have 
been put forward, some of which have been equal to a 
negative, others to an affirmative.^ Outside Finland, too, 

1 Vid. the various opinions in Krohn's work, Suom. kirjall. hist, p. 4 
et seq. 


we find discrepancies of opinion from V. Tettau, who 
denies the unity, to Steinthal, who asserts that it exists, 
though unconsciously, in the people's songs, and that it 
was recognised by Lonnrot and expressed in his poem, 
which is therefore popular. And this poem is cited by 
Steinthal as an example of that last and highest stage 
of collective and popular epic production in which from 
the minor songs there issues a great organic cycle of epic 
song. As such he places the Kalevala alongside the two 
Homeric poems, alongside the Niebelungen and the Chanson 
de Boland} We should observe that the poems which 
have given most trouble with regard to the question of 
origins, that is of connection with smaller songs, and 
which will continue to give trouble, are exactly the poems 
of the type represented by these four : those, in fact, which 
have been most discussed. And in truth it is so difficult to 
conceive how collective work and the independent produc- 
tion of small songs can have given rise to organic unities 
of this kind, that many learned minds, impressed, each 
according to its pecuHar disposition, by one or the other 
of these diverse, irreconcilable facts, adopted the alter- 
native either of denying the organic unity or of deny- 
ing the collectivity of the production. It may not be 
surprising that Steinthal, who, it is true, has read the 
Kalevala and gives an abstract of it, should, as he does 
not know the true story of its composition, not only con- 
sider it as an organic poem, but even place it as such by 
the side of the four we have mentioned ; but it does ap- 
pear strange that Krohn, in the same book in which he 

^ •• Die dritte Form finden wir da, wo der Gesammtgeist einen grossen 
organischen Kreis epischen Gesanges bildet. Seiche Kreise liegen vor im 
Kalevala der Finnen, im Homer, in den Niebelungen, dem Franzosischen 
Rolandsliede. Hier finden wir ein organisches Verhaltniss der Theile, 
also Glieder, die innerlich zusammenhangen, hier ist Entwicklung, 
ein nothwendiges Fortschreiten and Ausbreiten vom Beginne bis zum 
Schlusse." Das Epos, p. 12. 



reveals its composition, should devote a long chapter to 
its unity. While Steinthal, hov^ever, vi^as led astray by 
false appearances and by abstract ideas, which are out of 
touch with facts, and which Krohn himself had therefore 
to correct,^ Krohn was obliged, in order to show that 
unity existed in a composition such as he has described,, 
to put forward definitions of the epos and of epic unity 
based on Vischer's Esthetics. 

Leaving on one side transcendental formulas and 
philosophic jargon, looking at facts and defining them 
in plain, unequivocal language, we are obliged to say that, 
the Kalevala possesses only that amount of unity which 
is necessary to the existence of a poem : the continuity,, 
that is, which consists in binding the facts together more 
or less firmly by some tie apt to connect them at least 
externally. The elements of this kind of unity, of con- 
tinuity between song and song, are, it is true, to be found 
already in the popular songs, which are variously combined 
by the people themselves : thus far, and no farther, does 
the rhapsodic work of the popular singers lead us. A 
studious Finnic youth has observed, in speaking of unity 
in the Kalevala, that no runes had been found or can be 
found which might not be introduced into it.^ This is. 
strictly true ; and we also have made a similar observa- 
tion. Who could say the same of the Iliad ? This means 
that there is no organic unity in the Kalevala; for we 
cannot add what we wish to an organic body, not even a, 
thing of its own nature, without disturbing the organism 
and interrupting the harmony of its parts. And of that 
organic unity of the poem which Aristotle so justly com- 
pared with the unity of the drama, the Kalevala has but a. 
superficial appearance in so far as the action seems to 
converge towards a final culminating and solvent fact 

1 Die Entstehung der einheitlichen Epen in allgemeinen, in Zeitschr^ 
f. Volkerpsychol, xviii. (1888), p. 69 et seq. 

2N. a. Ursin, Den homeriska fragan (Helsingf., 1878), p. 59. 


In the songs of the people we find neither the elements 
nor the appearance of this kind of unity. It is entirely 
due to the composer, who has sought to fashion the poem 
after the model of others which were known to him. A 
laulaja wishing to unite the songs into a large composition 
would not have thought of this. Neither does the song 
of the Sampo, the culminating point of the poem, hold in 
the eyes of the laulajat the important place in the mass of 
runes that it would seem to have in the poem. 

The want of such unity is at once felt if we ask our- 
selves, what is the subject of the Kalevala ? If we put 
such a question with regard to the Iliad, the Odyssey, 
the Niehelungen, the Chanson de Boland, we have an im- 
mediate, positive, single answer ready. For the Kalevala 
the answer is not so easy ; and it is given differently by 
various authors, who have even confused the question of 
the immediate subject with that of the remote meaning. 
This poem that begins with the creation of the world like 
an ancient cyclic poem, what does it sing ? The wondrous 
deeds of Vainamoinen ? The deeds of the wooers of the 
maiden of Pohjola ? Ilmarinen's wedding ? The rape of 
the Sampo? We must reply that it does not sing one of 
these more than another, but all of them and others besides. 
The central fact towards which, as Krohn and others think, 
all the action of the poem gravitates, and towards which 
we should say that it appears to gravitate, is the origin of 
the Sampo and its becoming the property of the Finnic 
people. And, as .we have seen, Lonnrot has made the 
song of the Sampo the connecting thread of the poem, 
which, as he himself says,^ would fall without it into a 
number of independent cycles. As Castren remarks with 
truth,^ however, even as they now stand these cycles (if 

^ Anmerkningar til den nya Kalevala uplagan ; Helsingf. Litteratur- 
blad, 1849, n. 1, p. 16 et seq. 
* Tillfdlliga uppsatser, p. 71. 


indeed the name is applicable to all the groups) have very- 
little connection v^^ith each other. 

And this connecting thread really connects very little. 
The Sampo is not spoken of before rune vii., where Vaina- 
moinen is asked to make it, and then in rune x., where 
Ilmarinen makes it. After that it is not mentioned again 
till rune xxxvii. Nothing is said or known of its import- 
ance, not even by Ilmarinen who has made it. He only 
wakes up to the advantages to be derived from it in rune 
xxxvii., during his third journey to Pohjola ; when he 
speaks of it to Vainamoinen. Hence we have the expedi- 
tion to get possession of the Sampo which had been made 
by Ilmarinen himself ; to whom it never occurs that he 
might make one for Kalevala as he had made one for Poh- 
jola. In all this we feel a puerile inconsistency, which 
already exists in the song of the Sampo roughly put to- 
gether by the singers of the government of Archangel, and 
which increases and becomes more apparent in the poem, 
in a milieu for which the song was certainly not made. 

The only intimate bond of union to be found between 
the Sampo runes and those of the Wooing of the Bride 
(the theme treated in thirty-two cantos, that is the greater 
part of the poem) is the promise of the Maid of Pohjola 
to the maker of the Sampo. But this connection is only 
seen momentarily in the poem, in the two runes which 
tell of the request for the Sampo and its making ; and 
even there it is little more than touched on. Afterwards 
it is entirely forgotten ; only in rune xviii. the Virgin of 
Pohjola, who had refused in spite of her mother's promise 
to go with Ilmarinen when he had made the Sampo, then 
prefers Ilmarinen to Vainamoinen because he is young, 
handsome and the maker of the Samjjo. Inconsistent is 
the action of the Maid of Pohjola and her mother ; in- 
consistent that of Ilmarinen in first resigning himself to 
the girl's refusal when he had the right of carrying her 
•off, and in then being at such pains to win her without 


ever pleading his original right : that of having made the 
Sampo. Inconsistent is the action of Vainamoinen , who 
is twice seized by the caprice of having her, whilst at first 
he knows and confesses that she should belong to him 
who shall make the Sampo. There is further no intimate 
bond between the parts of the heroic action occasioned 
by these Wooings of the Bride. No plot, fertile in epic 
effects, binds together Vainamoinen, Ilmarinen, Lem- 
minkainen : each hero acts on his own account ; there is- 
no conflict among them for the woman. Hence many 
motives that present themselves as full of promise for 
heroic action are left abandoned and sterile. It is here 
abundantly clear that the songs put together by Lonnrot 
with some external appearance of continuity, were never 
made to go together, were not formed after one idea, one 
fact that could join them into an epic organism. 

The Kape of the Sampo, which figures as the catas- 
trophe of the poem, and even seems to give it a national 
meaning, is bound altogether mechanically, not intimately 
nor organically, to the thirty-two runes that precede it : 
to the theme, that is, of the Wooing of the Bride. Krohn 
has said that with the death of Ilmarinen's wife violent 
hostilities, ending in the rape of the Sampo and the 
triumph of the Finns, break out between the two- 
countries. This is simply expressing in words what one 
might imagine with the intent of finding a rational 
characteristic whole in the elements of the poem, is work- 
ing up the elements and putting them together again on 
one's own authority ; but it is not what really exists in 
the poem as we have it, as Lonnrot has been able tO' 
build it up with the songs of the people. Of any con- 
nection between the murder of Ilmarinen's wife and the 
hostilities with Pohjola, the popular songs know ab- 
solutely nothing. In the poem, the murder would 
naturally lead us to expect a struggle between Ilmarinen 
and the murderer; but instead of this Ilmarinen takes. 


the thing in holy peace and casts about as to how he 
can get himself another wife. The fact is that in the 
popular songs the woman killed by Kullervo is not Ilma- 
rinen's wife. Here as elsewhere Lonnrot has attained 
a material continuity by putting in a name ; but he has 
not been able to attain to an organic unit}^ because this 
does not exist in the songs of the people. As a motive 
for the expedition for the Sampo is adduced simply, in 
the poem and in the popular songs, the news given by II- 
marinen to Vainamoinen of the benefits conferred by the 
Sampo on Pohjola. From that time onwards there is no 
mention whatever of the two women whom Ilmarinen 
had had ; neither is there any hint at the expedition's 
being determined by anger or hostility ; on the contrary, 
the three heroes ingloriously propose that the Lady of 
Pohjola should divide the Sampo with them. She refuses 
because the Sampo is too precious ; and, besides, it is 
indivisible. Therefore they carry it off. The want of 
consistency is so great that the Lady of Pohjola herself, 
when Ilmarinen unblushingly goes and asks her for the 
Sampo, quite forgets her two daughters, the second of 
whom this hero had but recently carried off. She does 
not ask about them, does not reprove him ; in fact makes 
no mention of them whatever. 

The six runes that open the poem, preceding Vaina- 
moinen's arrival in Pohjola, with which the action of the 
Kalevala may be said to begin, are out of proportion with 
what follows, ill-connected with it and with each other. 
They tell the origins of the world and of Vainamoinen, 
but not of men. We find the earth already populated 
in those primordial times ; and we know not whence 
the Lapps and other people who Hved in it have come. 
The Vainamoinen of divine birth who takes part in 
the creation is not the same Vainamoinen as appears 
afterwards in the poem as son of a mortal woman and 
brother of Ilmarinen, also the son of a mortal. This last 


Vainamdinen is of smaller proportions, though he is still 
great. The strife with the Lapp, Joukahainen, strikes> 
the note of an action which is then broken off. It results 
in the arrival of Vainamoinen in Pohjola; but Vaina- 
moinen never thinks of punishing the Lapp ; Joukahainen 
is not mentioned again in the poem. The Pohjola inci- 
dents follow, but without reference to what has come before,, 
and Joukahainen, although a Lapp, does not appear in 

We might go on to speak of the Lemminkainen and 
Kullervo runes, to which similar observations would apply 
both with regard to the runes in themselves and in their 
connection with the poem. The defects we have pointed 
out in this rapid review of the general structure of the 
poem 1 are very different from those little inconsistencies^ 
contradictions or other blemishes observable in so many 
poems which, in spite of all, present a clear unity of plan,, 
of conception, of organism. We are dealing vdth some- 
thing far more important than the rjXde K 'Adrjvij ovpdvodev 
of the Iliad when the gods were absent in Ethiopia. It 
is vain to look for organic unity in the Kalevala. One finds- 
there a plan of composition, an ordering of epic material ; 
but all this is superficial ; it has no roots in the material 
itself ; it is due entirely to the collector. The material 
thus ordered is too clearly rebellious to the collector's 
efforts at consistency ; the plan is too evidently in his 
mind, not in the subject he is dealing with ; of an organism 
there is too unmistakably the appearance only as in an 
automaton. Hence the indeterminateness of the very 
subject of the poem, which can hardly be defined in a single 
formula ; hence the want of what we may call plasma, 
vital sap in these epic organisms, of a moral or senti- 

^V. Tettau speaks more diffusely of the want of unity in his Die 
epischen Dichtungen d. finnischen Volker besonders d. Kalevala, Erfurt, 
1873, p. 184. He makes many just observations ; but he could not then 
judge the composition of the poem as we can now. 


mental motive animating and governing the whole action. 
Although Finnic in its elements, popular and traditional, 
the work as it is put together, is the direct offspring of a. 
cultured mind of the nineteenth century. Never would 
Arhippa, nor Ontrei, nor Sissonen, nor any other laulaja 
or tietdjd among the Finns, however inspired and gifted, 
have conceived the idea of a similar composition. Their 
poetry was never ripe enough, never rich enough in epic 
production for a laulaja to think of a great poem. If it had 
been, we cannot tell what kind of poem or of poems it. 
would have produced; but very certainly it would not 
have given birth to the Kalevala nor to anything of the 
nature of the Kalevala. 

To conclude. The Kalevala is not, as it would seem 
to be, an actual example of the passage from minor songs 
to the large poem ; it is not, as has been supposed, illustra- 
tive of a similar passage in the Homeric poems and in 
the Niebelungen ; it is not an example of a poem that 
has really been formed out of the songs of the people.. 
Although Lonnrot has done much more than mechanically 
paste together songs already rigidly formed, as would be 
those into which Lachmann resolved the Iliad and the 
Niebelungen; although he has himself formed the text, 
of the songs by choosing among the numerous variants 
those best adapted to the composition of the poem ; yet 
the Kalevala is not a poem which can be compared, as far 
as unity goes, to the Iliad and other ancient epics. Inp 
spite of its poetical unity, it bears, as none of the others 
do, evident characteristics of having been built up of 
matter collected from many sources. 

It has been said that although popular poetry did not. 
reach this stage of development in Finland, it may have 
done so among other nations ; that, for instance, the; 
French cantilenes prior to the Chansons de geste must 
have been far nearer the greater epos than are the 
songs of the Finns. This is but clothing hypothetical 


phantasms with a body that belongs to them as httle 
as it does to these very cantilenes ^ understood in that 
way. We know, henceforth, what purely popular poetry 
is ; what it gives, what it can give. A long poem, 
•created by the people, does not exist,^ cannot exist ; 
epic popular songs, such as could be put together 
into a true poem, have never been seen and are not 
likely to be seen among any people. Every lonpj poem 
without exception, anonymous or not, is the work of 
«,n individual, is a work of art. The art may be lofty, 
noble and perfect like that of the Homeric poems, it may 
be pedestrian and lowly hke that of the poems of the 
Middle Ages, but art it is always. It will not be theoreti- 
cal, doctrinal, of the schools, personal hke that of Vergil 
and of Tasso ; it will be, on the contrary, empiric or 
experimental, formed through long unconscious develop- 
ment, natural and collective ; but this does not mean that 
it will be the product of rustic, unfettered nature. The 
work of the Greek aoidos, like that of the jongleur, is pro- 
duced according to easily recognisable forms, principles, 
-canons which have been insensibly established by usage.^ 
In this school, very different from that whence Vergil 
issues, individual work will be done. It will be done with 
the language, with the skill, with the artistic means 
furnished by the school ; but not for this will it be less 
individual. Individual does it reveal itself in the large 
poem, informed by the broad, synthetic conception that 

^ Rajna, Le origini delV epopea fraiwese, p. 149 et seq., passes excellent 
judgment on these. 

2 Among popular Serb songs of the PetranoviJS collection (Belgrade, 
1867) there is a long one of 1607 lines, evidently put together from various 
songs relating to the Battle of Kosovo. Criticism has easily proved that 
this composition is neither ancient nor popular, but is the work, quite 
modern and personal, of a semi-literary poet and improviser, a certain' 
Jlija Divanovic. Vid. Jagic in the Bad, ii., p. 211 et seq. ; NovakoviJJ^ 
in the Archiv f. slavische Philologie, iii. (1878), p. 445 et seq. 

3 Cf. Tobler, Ueber das volksthilmliche Epos der Franzosen, in Zeitschr. 
J. Vblkerpsycholog., iv. (1886), p. 151 et seq. 


distinguishes it as the offspring of one mind, not of a 
collection of minds. We should not be led astray by 
the fact that the poem is anonymous. The names of the 
authors of works current among the people are sought out 
by scholars for whom they may have value and mean- 
ing. But the masses care nothing for them ; they see 
the work, and it suffices ; the man is in that. What he 
is called is of small import ; his name is either unknown 
or is forgotten as a sound of little meaning ; or else, if 
recorded, is clothed by popular tradition with legend, that 
it may take sohd form before the mind. 

When, as has actually been done, these poems are cut 
up into small songs, the latter are found to have well- 
marked artistic features of form, style, composition, con- 
ception, such as are not evident in any popular epic song^ 
whether Finnic, Kussian, Servian, or of any other country. 
There is no difference of minor or of major art between 
them and the poem: they are of the same major art 
which has produced the poem. When, by natural develop- 
ment, art has reached the point at which it treats broadly 
and loftily what is small in size, it cannot, in the nature 
of things, stop. The man who can conceive a smaller 
song in such form and style as to adapt it to a place in 
a large poem, can also conceive that poem ; he who 
should know how to make arms, hands, fingers, would 
know how to make, and would make, whole human 
bodies. The idea of a passage from small songs to the 
poem by way of a mechanical pasting together, is wholly 
arbitrary, is contrary to the most evident laws which 
govern the development of practical production ; for the 
more entirely this follows natural paths, the more com- 
pletely must it move in accordance with the old adage : 
Natura non facit saltus. Since the large poem is the 
highest, the synthetic product of poetry, it can naturally 
only be the outcome of an ulterior phase of art ; and this 
has developed itself organically from a preceding phase, 



with new forms and style proportioned to the nature of 
the new work, forms and style being also developed from 
foregoing elements. This last is really the conclusive, 
historical, monumental phase, which supplants those that 
preceded it and renders them prehistoric. In it the 
work of the producer is personal ; it is not independent 
of preceding works, to which it is in close relationship ; 
but it is poetical and creative in its synthesis, not me- 
chanical and inert. The man who conceives the great 
composition is a poet. He freely recomposes and moulds 
the already existing epic song without a thought which 
should prevent the insertion of anything of his own, which 
should oblige him to hmit himself to a work of mosaic. 

The so-called Small Song Theory is not, it is true, 
in such high repute to-day as it was at one time, when 
it laid claim to being a dogma, and was such in some 
schools. Even now followers of it are not wanting, who 
blindly believe in it as an indisputable scientific fact ; and 
the effects of this are still seen in many books of philology. 
But the revolt raised some time ago by the most talented, 
the most independent, the least short-sighted scholars, 
has been steadily spreading. A more reasonable, a more 
practically intelligible idea is gaining ground : that amid 
the minor epic songs one must have arisen longer and 
more complex than the rest ; and that this, thanks to 
the work of various poets who successively contributed 
to it, swelled in course of time into a greater poem, of 
which it thus came to be the nucleus. This is Lonnrot's 
idea of the Kalevala. He thought that this poem, which 
he found living in the songs of the people and recom- 
posed, would have come to its present state by the road, 
just mentioned, of successive growth, wandering orally 
along the path of popular tradition, and setting out from 
the primitive state of a much smaller poem or song com- 
posed by a poet contemporary with the events.^ Of what 
^ Vid. sup., p. 9. 


events this poet could have been contemporary remains to 
be seen. Of the Kape of the Sampo, perhaps? Of II- 
marinen's wedding ? Of the supposed ancient struggles 
between the Finns and the Lapps? It may be that 
Lonnrot thought of the latter. He who has followed us 
in our researches will readily concede that in the Kalevala 
we can distinguish no nucleus, no record of any real event. 
In adopting this idea, Lonnrot simply applied to the Kale- 
vala, at haphazard, the theory which aims at thus explain- 
ing the origin of the great poems. Neither are examples 
rare of a similar fantastic application of this on a like 
generic principle. Some people have got it into their 
heads that the Spanish romances are remains of ancient, 
large poems. When, therefore, Lonnrot said that the 
composer or collector of the Homeric poems had before 
him a task almost identical with that which he himself 
undertook and performed, he fell into an anachronism 
similar to that into which so many others have fallen 
on like questions ; though the anachronism was more 
excusable in him than it is in some others. 

Lonnrot, however, does not understand the theory in 
the same way that its originators do. He uses it in com- 
position ; they, in decomposition. Apphed to the poems 
which have come to us through written tradition, it is 
really understood only as a variety of the Theory of Little 
Songs. The criteria are much the same ; except that, 
instead of looking in the poem for the independent 
songs from which a so-called diaskevast pieced the whole 
together, the primitive nucleus is looked for, and after 
this each of the parts that were successively added; 
the chronology of these parts being sought in accord- 
ance with special criteria. The best example of an 
analytic work conducted on this principle is Kirch- 
hoff's ingenious book on the Odyssey. Not only does the 
principle appear more sound and more probable in the 
second form than in the first, but manuscript tradition 


furnishes many facts which would seem to justif}^ and 
support the second, whereas support of the first is wanting. 
The tradition, not, it is true, of the Homeric poems hut of 
the Komance and Germanic poems of the Middle Ages. 
and also of those of India, shows that the fact deduced 
from this principle really took place. We do not see in 
them how a little song became a great poem, but we do 
see how a poem enlarges and grows as time goes on, 
how in its popular life it is subject to recompositions. 
rifacimenti, and other similar vicissitudes. It is hence 
perfectly justifiable to seek the original form and text 
of a poem through a comparison of its various and 
discrepant redactions. But it must be remembered that 
the manuscript tradition represents the life of the 
written poem; and although it thus reflects also the 
vicissitudes of its oral existence, it represents the latter 
only as it exists at certain times, not in the whole of 
its free movement. The variation which threatens a 
poem created by a singer without the use of writing, 
communicated orally and propagating itself orally through 
several centuries, is very different from that undergone 
by a poem put into writing and propagating itself 
orally and in the written form at the same time. In 
the last case those who sing or recite it have always 
behind them the guide, the check, the virof^oki'} of a 
written text. Lonnrot had a perfectly just idea of 
what a poem must go through when committed to 
tradition entirely oral, as is that of the Finns ; though 
he was mistaken in applying this idea to the Kalevala, 
Such a poem would insensibly increase as time went on. 
It would split up into numerous songs and these agfi 
into many variants ; and he who should wish to recoJ 
pose the poem from them would not only find the latt 
much increased, but would also find the primiti^ 
nucleus (if it were not perhaps for the subject) 
be quite indistinguishable from the rest. The Gvi 


-aoiclos is without any doubt superior to the Finnic 
laulaja. As avrohihaKro^ or creator he feels himself 
a personage, distinct from the crowd that repeats songs 
not its own ; and this individuahsm of poetic work felt 
l)y the poet and recognised by others must bring with 
it a greater conservativeness in the poetry, which is the 
work of professionals although it exists orally. Every 
ancient aoidos is a rhapsodist ; not because he seius songs 
together (which is the sense wrongly given to the word 
now, though it was never so used by the ancients), 
hut because he is a composer and reciter of epic 
songs (pairra eirr})} He recites his own, and can also 
recite those of others ; for without the knowledge of these 
he would be ignorant of the art from which hie own songs 
must spring. Such is the conception of the aoidos at 
which we naturally arrive. It makes us disinclined 
to think that he could ever bring himself to the com- 
position of songs which should be simply added to a 
greater song already produced by others ; and that he 
should have done this so rigidly and with such respect for 
the work of the other that the modern scholar can find 
out the joints with ease, can distinguish the nucleus and 
■each of the posterior additions. It is easier to conceive 
this in written than in oral tradition. The difficulty in- 
•creases when the poems are clearly seen to be composed, 
in each of their parts, according to a determined plan, 
evident in the definitive poem, but not in the supposed 
nucleus. Poems of this kind display such organic unity, 
harmony, proportion of parts co-ordinated among them- 
selves and converging towards a final catastrophe, as 
presuppose an agreement, a homogeneity of poetic work 
with a common conception, even the limitation of the work 
in accordance with the conception ; and it is difficult to 

1 So called on account of the continuous uniformity of their composi- 
tion in opposition to the lyrics. 


think that this could have existed between different poets: 
Hving at different times. It appears natural that additions: 
should have been made ; but it also appears natural that 
these should have been numerous and manifold according 
to the independent judgment and the various ways of 
feeling of the poets of various times and places, who- 
freely continued or developed a minor poem which had 
become traditional. It is easy to understand how, in this- 
way, a more ancient Mah^bharata of 8000 slokas should 
have become the unruly agglomeration of 107,000 slokas, 
which is the form under which the Mahabharata has. 
come down to us. But that this mode of growth should 
give us poems so well rounded, without any lengthiness- 
of the parts, so well defined in subject, so well pro- 
portioned in structure as are the Iliad and the Odyssey^ 
this is almost as difficult to conceive as it would be in 
the case of a tragic trilogy or of a tragedy. The mass of 
poetry which in process of time and in various countries- 
must have gathered round the supposed nucleus, must 
necessarily have been very considerable and very diverse. 
Of this there is no doubt. The man who drew from thi& 
mass the poems we possess, and not a second Mahabha- 
rata, performed in any case a work of such genius that 
to be just we should call him not simply their redactor,, 
but rather their author, their poet. 

We might say much more on what particularly con- 
cerns the Homeric poems, around which this question 
of the origin of great national epics continually revolves ; 
but we shall reserve the exposition of our ideas on this, 
head, for the more fitting occasion of a work specially 
devoted to the subject. Let it suffice that we have here 
shown, from the observations to which the Kalevala has 
led us, how devoid of foundation is the theory, under 
whatever form it presents itself, which sees in the ancient 
poems we have mentioned nothing but songs mechanically 
joined together ; and hence authorises the decomposition 



of these poems into the elements from which they are 
supposed to be built up. Any attempt at decomposing 
organic poems that do not present a variety of written 
redactions, sets out from a principle that is arbitrary, is 
carried through with insufficient criteria, is and will ever 
be barren, fruitless toil. 


H Classifieb Catalogue 









MOIRS, &c. 7 

LATIONS, ETC. - - - - 18 
MENT, &c. 28 


&c. - - 17 

MICTION, HUMOUR, &c. - - - 21 
















COLONIES, &c. - - . - 8 






Vbbott (Evelyn) 
(T. K.) - - 
(E. A.) - . 
\cland (A. H. D.) ■ 
i\cton (Eliza) - 
Ainger (A. C.) - 
Albemarle (Earl of) ■ 
i^llen (Grant) - 
l\llingham (W.) 

(F.) - - ■ 

i\ndre (R.) 
j\nstey (F.) - . ■ 
;\rcher (W.) - 
Aristophanes - 
i\ristotle - 
\rmstrong (G. F 


— (E.J. Savage) 7,1c 
Arnold (Sir Edwin) - i 

(Dr.T.) - - 

.shley (W. J.) - 
U teller du Lys (A uthor 

of)- - - - 
Ayre (Rev. J.) - 


14, 18 



iBacon - - - 7, H 
laden-Powell (B. H.) 3 
igehot (W.) - 7, 16, 29 
iagwell(R.) - - 3 

lain (Alexander) - 14 







Baker (Sir S. W.) ■ 
Baldwin (C. S.) 
Balfour (A. J.) 
Ball (John) 

(J. T.) - - 

Baring-Gould (Rev, 

S.) - - - 

Barnett (Rev. S. A. & 

Mrs.) - - - 16 

Baynes (T. S.) - - 29 

Beaconsfield (Earl of) 21 
Beaufort (Duke of) - 10,11 

Becker (Prof.) - - 18 

Beesly (A. H.) - - 19 

Bell (Mrs. Hugh) - 19 

(Mrs. Arthur) - 7 

Bent (J. Theodore) - 8 

Besant (Sir Walter)- 3 

Bickerdyke(J.) - 11 

Bicknell (A. C.) - 8 

Bird (R.) - - - 31 

Blackwell (Elizabeth) 7 

Bland (Mrs. Hubert) 20 

Boase (Rev. C. W.) - 4 

Boedder (Rev. B.) - 16 

Bosanquet (B.) - 14 

Boyd (Rev. A. K. H.) 29, 31 

Brassey (Lady) - 9 

(Lord) 3. 8, II, 16 

Bray (C. and Mrs.) - 14 

Bright (Rev. J. F.) - 3 

Broadfoot (Major W.) 10 

Brogger (W. C.) 
Brookings (W.) 
Browning (H. Ellen 
Buck (H. A.) - 
Buckle (H. T.)- 
Buckton (C. M.) 
Bull(T.) - - 
Burke (U. R.) - 
Burrows (Montagu) 
Butler (E. A.) - 
(Samuel) - 

Cameron of Lochiel 
Camperdown (Earl of) 
Cannan (E.) - 

(F. Laura) 

Chesney (Sir G.) 
Chisholm (G. G.) - 

(H.) - - - 
Churchill (W. Spencer) 

Clarke (Rev. R. F.) - 
Clodd (Edward) 
Clutterbuck(W. J.)- 
Cochrane (A.) - 
Coleridge (S. T.) - 
Comyn (L. N.) 
Conington (John) - 

& Howson (Dean) 
Coolidge (W. A. B.) 




Corbett (Julian S.) - 
Corder (Annie) 
Coventry (A.) - 
Cox (Harding) 
Crake (Rev. A. D.) - 
Creiehton (Bishop) - 
Crozier(J. B.) - 
Cuningham (G. C.) - 
Curzon (Hon. G. N.) 
Cutts (Rev. E. L.) - 

Dallinger (F. W.) - 4 
Davidson (W. L.) 14, 16, 32 
Davies (J. F.) - - 18 
Deland (Mrs ) - 
Dent (C. T.) - 
Deploige - 
De Salis (Mrs.) 
De Tocqueville (A.) 
Devas (C. S.) - 
Dickinson (G. L.) 
Diderot - 
Dougall (L.) - 
Douglas (Sir G.) 
Dowell (S.) 
Doyle (A. Conan) 
Dreyfus (Irma) 
Du Bois (W. E. B.)- 
Dufferin (Marquis of) 
Dunbar (Mary F.) - 

Eardley-Wilmot (Capt 

S.) - . - 


21, 26 

o ^^ 


16, 30 




Ebrington (Viscount) 12 

Egbert (J. C.) - - 18 

Eggleston (E.) - - 4 

Ellis (J. H.) - - 12 

(R. L.) - - 14 

Evans (Sir John) - 30 

Farrar (Dean) - - 16, 21 
Fitzwygram (Sir F.) 10 
Folkard (H. C.) - 12 
Ford (H.) - - - 12 
Fowler (Edith H.) - 21 
Foxcroft (H. C.) - 7 

Francis (Francis) - 12 
Freeman (Edward A.) 4 
Froude (James A.) 4, 7, 9, 21 
Furneaux (W.) - 24 

Galton (W. F.) - 17 
Gardiner (Samuel R.) 4 
Gathorne-Hardy (Hon. 

A. E.) - - 12 
Gerard (Dorothea) - 26 
Gibbons (J. S.) - n, 12 
Gibson (Hon. H.) - 13 

(C. H.) - - 14 

(Hon. W.) - 32 

Gilkes (A. H.) - - 21 
Gill (H.J.) - - 22 
Gleig (Rev. G. R.) - 8 

Goethe - 
Graham (P. A.) 

(G. F.) - - 

Granby (Marquis of) 
Grant (Sir A.) - 
Graves (R. P.) - 
Green (T. Hill) 
Greville (C. C. F.) - 
Grey (Maria) 
Grose (T. H.) - 
Grove (F. C.) - 

(Mrs. Lilly) 

Gurdon (Lady Camilla) 
Gurney (Rev. A.) 
Gwilt (J.) - 


13. 21 





Haggard (H. Rider) 21, 22 

Hake(0.)- - - II 

Halliwell-Phillipps(J.) 8 

Hamlin (A. D. F.) - 30 

Hammond (Mrs. J. H.) 4 

Hampton (Lady Laura) 30 

Harding (S. B.) - 4 

Harte (Bret) - - 22 

Harting(J. E.)- - 12 

Hartwig (G.) - - 24 

Hassall (A.) - - 6 

Haweis (Rev. H. R.) 7, 30 

Heath (D. D.) - - 14 
Heathcote (J. M. and 

C. G.) - - II 
Helmholtz (Hermann 

von) - - - 24 
Henderson (Lieut- 
Col. G. F.) - 7 
Henry (W.) - - 11 
Herbert (Col. Kenney) 12 
Hewins (W. A. S.) - 17 
Hill (Sylvia M.) - 21 
Hillier (G. Lacy) - 10 

W. L.) - - 30 
Hodgson (ShadworthH.) 14 

Holroyd (Mana J.) - 7 

Hope (Anthony) - 22 

Horace - - - 18 

Hornung (E. W.) - 22 

Houston (D. F.) - 4 

Howell (G.) - - 16 

Howitt (W.) - - 9 

Hudson (W. H.) - 24 

Hueffer (F. M.) - 7 

Hume (David) - - 14 

Hunt (Rev. W.) - 4 
Hutchinson (Horace G.) 11 

Ingelow (Jean - 19, 26 

James (W.) - - 14 

Jefferies (Richard) - 30 



. enery-Shee (R.) - 17' 
" erome (Jerome K.) - 22 | 

ohnson (J. & J. H.) 30 1 

ones (H. Bence) - 25 
■ ordan (\V. L.) - 16 
; owett (Dr. B.) - 17 
] oyce (P. W.) - 5, 22, 30 
Justinian - - - 14 

Kalisch (M. M.) - 32 

Kant (I.) - - - 14 

Kaye (Sir J. W.) - 5 

Kerr (Rev. J.) - - 11 

Killick (Rev. A. H.) - 14 

Kitchin (Dr. G. W.) 4 

Knight (E. F.) - - 9,11 

Kostlin (J.) - - 7 

Ladd (G. T.) - - 15 
Lang (Andrew) 5, 10, 11, 13, 

17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 26, 30, 32 
Lascelles (Hon. G.) 

10, II, 12 

Laughton (J. K.) - 8 

Laurie (S. S.) - - 5 

Layard (Nina F.) - 19 

Leaf (Walter) - - 31 

Lear (H. L. Sidney) - 29 

Lecky (W. E. H.) - 5. 19 

Lees (J. A.) - - 9 

Lejeune (Baron) - 7 

Leslie (T. E. Cliffe) - 16 

Lester (L. V.) - - 7 

Levett- Yeats (S.) - 22 
Lewes (G. H.) - 
Lillie (A.) - 
Lindley (J.) 
Lodge (H.C.) - 
Loftie (Rev. W. J.) - 
Longman (C. J.) 10, 

(F. W.) - - 

(G. H.) - ■ 

Lubbock (Sir John) - 17 

Lucan - - - 18 

Lutoslawski (W.) - 15 

Lyall (Edna) - - 22 
Lyttelton (Hon. R. H.) 10 

(Hon. A.) - - II 

Lytton (Earl of) - 19 

MacArthur (Miss E. A.) 17 
Macaulay (Lord) 5, 6, 20 
MacColl (Canon) - 6 

Macdonald (G.) - 9 

(Dr. G.) - - 20, 32 

Macfarren (Sir G. A.) 30 
Mackail (J. W.) - 18 
Mackinnon (J.) - 6 

Macleod (H. D.) - 16 
Macpherson (Rev. H. A.) 12 
Madden (D. H.) 
Maher (Rev. M.) - 
Malleson (Col. G. B.) 
Mandello(J.) - 
Marbot (Baron de) - 
Marshman (J. C.) 
Martineau (Dr. Jame 
Maskelyne (J. N.) - 
Maunder (S.) - 
Max Miiller (F.) 

7, 15, 16, 30, 32 

(Mrs.) - - 9 

May (Sir T. Erskine) 6 

Meade (L. T.) - - 26 
Melville (G. J. Whyte) 22 
Meriv.ilc (Dean) - 6 

Merrm;..'- H. S.) - 22 

Morgan (C. Lloyd) 
I Morris (W.) - 20, 22 

1 (Mowbray) 

\ Mulhall (M. G.) 

Munk (W.) 

Nansen (F.) 
Nesbit (E.) 
Nettleship (R. L.) - 
Newdigate - Newde- 

gate I Lady) 
Newman (Cardinal) - 

Mill(Jamc.-) - 

(John Stuart) - 1 

Milner (G.) 
Miss Molly (A uthor of) 
Moffat (D.) 
Molesworth (Mrs.) - 
Monck(W. H. S.) - 
Montague (F. C.) - 
Montagu (Hon. John 

Moore (T.) 
(Rev. Edward) - 

!Ogle(W.)- - - 18 

! Oliphant (Mrs.) - 22 

I Oliver (W. D.) - 9 

Onslow (Earl of) - 11 

Orchard (T. N.) - 31 

Osbourne (L) - - 23 

Park(W.) - - 13 

Parr (Louisa) - - 26 
Payne-Gallwey (Sir 

R.) - - -11,13 

Peek (Hedley) - - 11 

Pembroke (Earl oO - n 
Phillipps-Wolley(C.) 10,22 
Pleydell-Bouverie(E.O.) 11 

Pole (W.) - - - 13 

Pollock (W. H.) - II 

Poole (W.H. and Mrs.) 29 

Poore (G. V.) - - 31 

Potter (J.) - - 16 

Praeger (S. Rosamond) 26 

Prevost (C.) - - 11 

Pritchett (R. T.) - 11 
Proctor (R. A.) 13, 24, 28, 31 

§uill (A. W.) - - 18 

uintana (A.) - - 22 

Raine (Rev. James) - 4 

Ransome (Cyril) - 3 
Rawlinson (Rev. 

Canon) - - 8 

Rhoades (J.) - - 18 

Rhoscomyl (O.) - 23 

Ribblesdale (Lord) - 13 

Rich (A.) - - - 18 

Richardson (C.) - 12 

Richman (L B.) - 6 

Richmond (Ennis) - 31 

Rickaby (Rev. John) 16 

(Rev. Joseph) - 16 

Ridley (Annie E.) - 7 

(Sir E.) - - 18 

Riley (J. W.) - - 20 

Roget (Peter M.) - 16, 25 

Rolfsen (N.) - - 8 
Romanes (G. J.) 

8, 15, 17, 20, 32 

(Mrs.) - - 8 

Ronalds (A.) - - 13 

Roosevelt (T.) - - 4 
Rossetti (Maria Fran- 

cesca) - - - 31 

(W. M.) - - 20 

Rowc (R. P. P.) - II 

Russell (Bcrtrand) - 17 

(Alys) - - 17 

(Rev. M.) - - 20 

Saintsbury (G.) - 12 

Sandars (T. CO - 14 
Schreiner (S. C. Cron- 

wright) - - 10 
Seebohm (F.) - - 6, 8 

Selous (F. C.) - - 10 

Selss (A. M.) - - 19 

Sewell (Elizabeth M.) 23 

Shakespeare - - 20 

Shand(A L) - - 12 

Sharpe (R. R.) - - 6 

Shearman (M.) - 10 

Sinclair (A.) - - 11 

Smith (R. Bosworth) 6 

(T. C.) - - 4 

(W. P. Haskett) 9 

Soderini (Count E.) - 
Solovyofif (V. S.) - 

EDITORS— eon^mwfi 

Page p, 

17. Soulsby(Lucy H.) 26 

31 Spedding(J.) - - 7 

II Sprigge (S. Squire) - 

17 Stanley (Bishop) 

7 Steel (A. G.) - 
(J.H.) - - 

9 Stephen (Leslie) 
20 I Stephens (H. Morse) 
14 Stevens (R. W.) 

I Stevenson (R. L.) - 23 

8 I Stock (St. (jeorge) - 
22 I 'Stonehenge' - 

I Storr (F.) - 
Stuart-Wortley(.\.J )ij 

Stubbs (I. W.) 
Sturdy (E. T.) - 
Suffolk & Berkshiii 

(Earl of) - 
Sullivan (Sir E.) 

(J.F.) - - 

Sully (James) - 
Sutherland (A. and (j.) 

(Alex.) - - 15 

Suttner (B. von) 
Swinburne (A. J.) - 
Symes (J. E.) - 


Tavlor (Col. Meado\\^) 
— ^(Una) 
Tebbutt (C. G.) 
Thompson (N. G.) - 
ThornhilKW. J.) - 
Thornton (T. H.) - 
Todd (A.) - 
Toynbee (A.) - 

(C. P.) - - 

Trollope (Anthons ) - 
Tupper (J. L.) - 
Turner (H. G.) 
Tyndall (J.) 
Tyrrell (R. Y.) - 

Upton (F. K. and 

Vaughan (Cardinal) - 
Verney (Frances P. 

and Margaret M.) 

Vivekananda (Swami) 
Vivian (Herbert) 

) - 


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